The Indian Newspaper Society, the apex body of the print media industry, has decided to implead itself as a party in the appeal of the editor and the publisher of The Shillong Times after the Meghalaya High Court sentenced them in a contempt case.
The Supreme Court Friday stayed the Meghalaya High Court judgment convicting The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri in the case. While pronouncing the judgement in the contempt case, the high court had on March 8 asked both of them to serve the sentence by sitting in the corner of the court room till the rising of the court.
The high court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each on them and said if they failed to deposit the amount, they will have to undergo six months simple imprisonment and the paper will be banned. The editor and the publisher had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. The Executive Committee of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), which met here on Thursday, discussed at length the recent conviction of the publisher and the editor of The Shillong Times, the INS said in a statement.
The Society is concerned by several issues that arise from judgement as they "impinge" on the freedom of the press, it said. "The Executive Committee unanimously decided that the society should implead itself as a party in any appeal that the Shillong Times may prefer and agitate its concern," the statement said.