The Speaker has agreed to re-examine the breach of privilege notice if the scribes appear before him personally and file a petition.

Kannada editors sentenced by Assembly will not be arrested Speaker assures HC
news Law Saturday, July 01, 2017 - 15:32

The Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly on Saturday assured the High Court that the editors of the Kannada tabloids, facing arrest for breach of privilege, will not be arrested as per a report in The Hindu. 

The Speaker has agreed to re-examine the breach of privilege notice on the condition that the journalists appear before him personally and file a petition. 

Editors of the Kannada weekly ‘Hai Bengalur’, Ravi Belagere and a local magazine ‘Voice of Yelahanka’, Anil Raj, were earlier sentenced by the Assembly to one year of imprisonment and also a penalty of Rs 10,000 for publishing defamatory articles against three MLAs. 

Additional Advocate General AS Ponnanna appearing on behalf of the Speaker made the submission to reconsider the breach of privilege notice, the report states. 

The counsel for the petitioners then gave an undertaking that both the editors will meet the Speaker on July 3. Thereafter, they will be submitting pleas for reviewing the resolution passed by the Assembly, the report adds. 

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri disposed of the petitions. 

The Karnataka High Court, on Thursday, had asked the state government to find an “acceptable solution” to the issue of two journalists being sentenced to prison by the Assembly, after the editors had moved court seeking to quash the resolution. 

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri asked the Karnataka government if the court can intervene in such a matter as the resolution adopted by the Assembly is being questioned. He sought to know the provisions of the law under which the Assembly has taken the decision and if there were any guidelines to decide on the quantum of punishment for breach of privilege, the Times of India reported. 

The court asked the government to find out if the Speaker can keep the resolution under abeyance or if the House should meet again.

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