Initiative to help newspaper editor, publisher meet legal costs

Shillong, Mar 12 (PTI) Days after a newspaper editor and publisher were held guilty of contempt of court and fined by the Meghalaya High Court, a civil society group has launched a crowdfunding initiative to cover their legal expenses.
“In our online campaign on www.ourdemocracy.in, we have collected nearly Rs 1 lakh of the targeted Rs 5 lakh goal with 46 supporters donating to the cause in a span of 24 hours” the group leader of MPCFOEFP said, requesting anonymity.
The Meghalaya High Court Friday sentenced The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri to sit in the corner of the court room till the rising of the court besides imposing a fine of Rs 2 lakh each in a contempt case.
The case relates to an article published by the paper on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir had warned that if the two persons failed to deposit the amount they will have to undergo six months simple imprisonment and the paper will be banned.
A group of citizens came together under the banner of the Meghalaya Peoples Committee for Freedom of Expression and Free Press (MPCFOEFP) on Monday to raise funds.
The campaign being made on social media platforms is requesting concerned citizens in the country and across the world to support the cause of the two women journalists, a member of the group said.
The campaign will end on March 16 even as Patricia Mukhim has gone to Delhi to drum up support to take the legal battle to the Supreme Court.