The Shillong Times: SC stays Meghalaya HC's order

The Shillong Times: SC stays Meghalaya HC's order

The top court stayed the operation of the judgment by which the high court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each on the editor and the publisher. File photo

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Meghalaya High Court judgment which convicted editor and publisher of 'The Shillong Times' for contempt of court.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna also suspended the operation of the order which imposed a fine of Rs two lakh on them, failing which the newspaper would automatically be banned and the contemnors would suffer six months simple imprisonment.

The court issued a notice to the Meghalaya HC's registrar general on two special leave petitions filed by editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shobha Chaudhuri.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice S R Sen had on March 8 sentenced the two petitioners “to sit in the corner of the courtroom till rising of the court”.

The newspaper had in her December 10, 2018 article titled “When judges judge for themselves” questioned the orders passed for extending retirement benefits to the judges and their family members.

The article drew parallel to the order passed by Justice Sen to the earlier order directing for providing 'Z' category security to judges, which was subsequently set aside by the Supreme Court.