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Home > News > Report

Mid-Day journalists sentenced to 4 months in contempt case

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 21, 2007 14:24 IST

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The Delhi high court on Friday sentenced four journalists, including the resident editor of Mid-Day's Delhi edition Vitusha Oberoi and Irfan (cartoonist), to four months imprisonment in a contempt of court case. The two others sentenced were M K Tayal (editor) and S K Akthar (publisher).

A bench comprising Justice R S Sodhi and Justice B N Chaturvedi also slapped a fine of  Rs 10,000 on each of them.

The four journalists were convicted on September 12, and the sentence was handed out today.

The court had taken suo motu notice of the articles and cartoons published in the tabloid against former chief justice of India Y K Sabharwal. The court observed that the tabloid had brought the judiciary into disrepute by printing unsubstantiated material. The newspaper, in its edition dated May 19, 2007, had alleged that the sealing orders issued by a bench headed by Justice Y K Sabharwal benefited his sons.

In its order, the bench said, "The contemnors have tarnished the image of the highest court. The sentence of four months' imprisonment would serve the justice."

The journalists have moved the Supreme Court of India against the sentence.

Sachidanand Murthy from the Editor's Guild was quick to condemn the ruling. Editor-in-Chief of Outlook Vinod Mehta said Justice Sabharwal should cooperate in having the charges against him investigated. If proved wrong, the journalists community will amend its mistake.

Vitusha Oberoi refused to comment on the judgement. Justice Sabharwal could not be contacted.