Editors of two Kannada tabloids have been awarded one year jail terms and a fine of Rs 10,000 each for libel.
The Telegraph reports that the Karnataka Assembly awarded the punishment to the two editors, Ravi Belagere and Anil Raju, because they were of the opinion that they published 'defamatory stories on BJP and Congress legislators.
Belagere is the editor of the tabloid Hi Bangalore, while Raju is the editor of a periodical Yelahanka Voice.
"The State Assembly has decided to punish the two journalists of Kannada tabloids... I approve the recommendation of the privilege committee which had recommended a year's imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000 on 'Hi Bangalore' and 'Yelahanka Voice' editors," NDTV quoted Assembly Speaker KB Koliwad as saying.
Reports suggest that the House unanimously held the the articles published in the two tabloids were 'defamatory'.
The Telegraph reports that while Hi Bangalore had carried articles in 2014 that are said to have 'defamed' Koliwad and another Congress leader BM Nagaraju, and in 2016 Yelahanka Voice had published an article that defamed BJP's SR Vishwanath.
The newspaper quoted Vishwanath as saying, "I took the matter before the (then) Speaker only when I realised this magazine won't even apologise."
The two journalists are now planning to approach the Karnataka High Court over the issue. NDTV reported that Raju also questioned how Koliwad could be a complainant and a judge in the matter.
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