BENGALURU: Two journalists who have been convicted by the Legislative Assembly for writing defamatory articles have moved the High Court seeking a stay. The duo — Ravi Belagere and Anil Raj, editors of two tabloids, have appealed to the court to also quash the conviction order.
According to the petition, the journalists have made Speaker and Chairman of Privilege Committee K B Koliwad and MLA S R Vishwanath as the respondents. The matter was mentioned before the court on Tuesday for hearing, pleading urgency, but the court deferred it for Thursday.
In the petition, Shankarappa, the counsel of the petitioners, stated that a notice had been served only on
Anil Raj and not Ravi Belagere by the Legislative Assembly. He added that Anil had appeared before the committee and tendered an unconditional apology. Yet, he was convicted and sentenced for a year in jail along with a fine of Rs 10,000.
In the case of Belagere, Shankarappa said the journalist was not given an opportunity by the Assembly to justify himself.
Shankarappa also contended that, on last date of hearing, a representative of Belagere had appeared before the committee and requested one more opportunity for Belagere as he was not able to attend the hearing due to ill health. Despite this, the committee convicted him, the advocate said.
Order copy not provided
The counsel also contended that the journalists came to know about the conviction through the media and that the Assembly had refused to provide a copy of the sentence and order of execution to the petitioners. Hence, the petitioners have produced a photo copy of the order obtained from the website of Legislative Assembly, considering the urgency of the matter, he said.
Ravi Belagere admitted to KIMS Hospital
HUBBALI: Journalist Ravi Belagere was admitted to KIMS Hospital on Tuesday, a day after he ‘left’ the SDM Hospital in Dharwad under police security. Belagere is facing arrest following a recomme ndation for his arrest by the Privileges Committee of Karnataka Assembly and Speaker K B Koliwad giving consent for the same. According to the Vidyanagar police, Belagere arrived at KIMS Hospital at 3 am and got himself admitted. “There has been no order to keep a vigil on Belagere,” the police said.