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Meghalaya HC order in contempt case intimidatory: Editors Guild

The court on Friday had held ‘The Shillong Times’ editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shobha Chaudhuri guilty of contempt of court over two newspaper reports

New Delhi: Reacting sharply to the recent Meghalaya High Court order in a contempt of court case against The Shillong Times, including its editor and publisher, the Editors Guild of India has termed it “intimidatory” and said it “undermines” press freedom.

“The Editors Guild of India is deeply distressed over the Meghalaya High Court’s order in a contempt case against The Shillong Times including its editor and publisher for reporting the proceedings of the Court,” the Editors Guild said in a statement.

The statement further said, “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. It is ironical that the judiciary which should uphold press freedom has instead issued an order that militates against freedom of expression.”

On Friday, the Meghalaya HC had held The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shobha Chaudhuri guilty of contempt of court over two reports that the newspaper published on December 6 and 10 last year,

“The Guild urges 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,” the Editors Guild statement further said.