Meghalaya HC Censures Newspaper Editor for ‘Derogatory’ Article
The article spoke about a court order seeking perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.
The editor of a leading daily in Meghalaya was censured by the high court on Thursday, 13 December, for publishing an article about a court order seeking perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.
The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri, who appeared in person before Justice SR Sen, were asked to turn up before Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir next week, even after they apologised for the article.
“I was censured in the open court today and my qualifications were called into account. Justice S R Sen said I am not fit to be an editor,” Mukhim told PTI.
In her article titled ‘When judges judge for themselves’, published earlier this week, Mukhim alleged that Justice Sen, who is retiring in March, wanted several provisions for retired chief justices and judges and their spouses and children from the state government, including guest houses, domestic help, mobile and internet expenses.
The article also said that Justice Sen’s order is a reminiscent of an order of two judges - Chief Justice Umanath Singh and TNK Singh - demanding Z-category and Y-category security respectively.
Both Mukhim and Chaudhuri were issued a show cause notice by Justice Sen on Wednesday, 12 December, seeking explanation as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the newspaper for publishing the article.
He also asserted that “media is not to dictate to the court what the court should do”.
“It is really shocking that the publisher and editor of the said newspaper without knowing the law or background of the case are making comments which are definitely derogatory to a judge who is handling the case as well as the entire fraternity of the judges.”Justice Sen said, adding that the media had no business to comment on a matter pending in court.
Mukhim, on her part, said she apologised before the court and gave details of her qualifications.
“I apologised for what seems to be a mistake and told him of my qualifications but we were asked to appear before Chief Justice this Monday,” she said.
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