Two journalists in Karnataka were sentenced to jail on Thursday. Assembly Speaker, KB Koliwad, sentenced them to a year in jail for writing defamatory articles against legislators.
Noted scribe, Ravi Belagere, the editor of “Hi Bangalore “, is also one of those sentenced. Both the journalists write for Kannada tabloids.
“The State Assembly has decided to punish the two journalists of Kannada tabloids for publishing defamatory articles against legislators,” Koliwad announced in the assembly.
Besides the jail term, the speaker also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on both of them.
“I approve the recommendation of the privilege committee which had recommended a year’s imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 on “Hi Bangalore” and “Yelahanka Voice” editors,” the Speaker said.
He also added that the jail term would be extended to another six months if the editors fail to pay the fine.
The Privileges Committee of the Assembly had recommended jail for Belagere and Anil Raju of ‘Yelahanka Voice’ for publishing articles against legislators, including Koliwad. The article against the Speaker was published in ‘Hi Bangalore’ in the September 2014 issue.
Former Speaker, Kagodu Thimmappa, had referred the issue to the committee after Koliwad had lodged a complaint against Belagere.
MLAs of Congress and BJP, BM Nagaraju and SR Viswanath raised the issue in the House and recommended action against the two journalists.