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The Supreme Court has stayed Meghalaya High Court’s contempt order against The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher, Shobha Chaudhuri for publishing articles on the benefits and facilities for retired judges and their families.

The Meghalaya High Court had slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakhs and addition to it told two journalists Patricia Mukhim and Shoba Chaudhuri to sit in the corner of the Court room till the rising of the Court.

If the payment of fine is failed, the bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Sudip Ranjan Sen had said “journalists will have to incur six months simple imprisonment and the paper so called Shillong Times will automatically come to an end (banned)”.

Disposing of the petition, the bench had ordered: “In exercise of the power vested on us by Article 215 of the Constitution of India, we sentence both the contemnors to sit in the corner of the Court room till the rising of the Court and impose a fine of Rs. 2,00,000/- (Rupees two lakhs) each which is to be deposited with the Registry within a week and then to be deposited in the welfare fund of this High Court. We also further direct that in default of payment, both the contemnors will have to undergo 6(six) months simple imprisonment and the paper so called “Shillong Times” will automatically come to an end (banned).”

—India Legal Bureau

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