NEW DELHI — The Editors Guild on Monday said the Meghalaya High Court’s order in a contempt case against The Shillong Times, including its editor and publisher, is “intimidatory and undermines” press freedom.
The Meghalaya High Court on Friday sentenced The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri to sit in the corner of the court room till the rising of the court, besides imposing a fine of Rs 2 lakh each in a contempt case.
The case relates to an article published by the paper on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.
The Editors Guild, in a statement, said it is deeply distressed over the Meghalaya High Court’s order.
“The order, which among other things imposes a fine along with a threat of imprisonment and a ban on the publication, is intimidatory and undermines press freedom,” the Guild said.
“It is ironical that the judiciary which should uphold press freedom has instead issued an order that militates against freedom of expression,” the statement said.
The Guild urged the judiciary to exercise its constitutional powers with “utmost caution and care” so that the role of a free media in a democracy is duly respected.