Bengaluru: The editors of two tabloid newspapers who face one year in jail for attracting the wrath of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly speaker will have to appear before him and plead for a reconsideration of the sentence. They have been assured that they will not be arrested if they do so.
The Karnataka Assembly resolved on June 21 to convict the journalists, Ravi Belagere and Anil Raj, for breach of legislative privilege, and imposed a sentence of one year’s imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 10,000 each.
The editors challenged the order in the High Court Saturday, and additional advocate-general A S Ponnanna assured the court that the duo would not be arrested if they appeared before the speaker at 3 pm Monday and submitted a petition seeking reconsideration of their punishment. He said he had discussed the matter with speaker K B Koliwad as well as chief minister Siddaramaiah.
With the two journalists’ counsel, Shankarappa agreeing to give such an undertaking, Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri disposed of their petitions challenging the speakers’ order.
However, he gave them liberty to revive their petitions if need be.
Ravi Belagere has been hospitalised in Hubballi and Anil Raj is absconding since the speaker’s verdict.