Karnataka HC Judge tells government to be ‘magnanimous’ to two editors held guilty of breach of legislative privilege

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday urged the state government to be “magnanimous” towards two editors who have been held guilty of breach of privilege by the Legislative Assembly.

Ravi Belagere and Anil Raj published some articles that the Legislative Assembly found to be in breach of legislative privileges. The winter session of the Assembly sentenced them to one year in prison. Following through, the state government is said to have issued orders for their arrest.

Hearing the editors’ appeal against the sentence, Justice Bopanna, in oral remarks, said the government must not precipitate the matter by taking any further action or arresting the accused as the issue was now being examined by the court.

The judge ordered issue of notices to the Assembly and the legislators who complained against the two editors as well as two committees headed by Kimmane Ratnakar and K B Koliwad that heard the privilege proceedings. The hearing was adjourned to next Wednesday.

Back in June, the privileges committee of the legislature examined articles published by the editors against three legislators — K B Koliwad, B M Nagaraj (both Congress) and BJP MLA S R Vishwanath – and held them to be defamatory. The Assembly adopted the punitive recommendation by the privileges committee and handed out one-year sentences.

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