Editor appears in court, faces lawyers' ire

Tension prevailed in the 9th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court on Wednesday when Vishveshwar Bhat, editor of ‘Kannada Prabha’ newspaper, appeared before it following a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him in connection with a defamation case filed in 2008.

As Bhat stepped into the court with police protection in the morning, expecting trouble from advocates whom he had allegedly antagonised over the March 2 violence on the high court premises, the lawyers protested that Bhat, an accused having a non-bailable warrant against him, cannot be given police protection. They also demanded that he be arrested immediately.

Chaos prevailed and the judge ordered that there has to be a fair hearing of both sides before any decision is taken in the case, and adjourned the court to 3:30 pm. He sent Bhat to police custody till afternoon.

When he was produced before the court later, a large number of advocates gathered in the complex, and tried to prevent their colleagues from defending him.

The Advocates Association Bangalore has decided not to defend any mediaperson after the March 2 face-off between journalists and the men in black.

However, the hearing did take place and the court took Bhat to task for not receiving seven successive summons. Finally, the judge withdrew the non-bailable warrant issued against him, with a Rs 25,000 surety. He also levied Rs 10,000 as fine for wasting the valuable time of the court.

In the evening, as Bhat emerged from the court, some advocates allegedly tried to assault him.

Two other journalists from the daily were chased around in the court premises in the afternoon.

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