A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday agreed to hear a plea by The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim against an order of the Meghalaya High Court finding her and her publisher, Shobha Chaudhuri, guilty of contempt.
The case relates to articles published by the paper on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families. A Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Mir and Justice S.R. Sen of the Meghalaya High Court, taking umbrage at two reports published in The Shillong Times, had held the newspaper liable for contempt of court.
The High Court invoked its powers under Article 215 of the Constitution to sentence the contemners.
The two were made to sit in a corner of the courtroom as punishment till the judges rose for the day and fined ₹2 lakh each. Failure to deposit the amount would result in six months simple imprisonment and a ban on the paper.
The CJI listed the case for hearing on March 15.
The Press Council of India said the conviction of Ms. Mukhim and Ms. Chaudhuri was uncalled for. If allowed by the Supreme Court, it will join their petition.