The Editors Guild of India said today that the Meghalaya High Court's order in a contempt case against The Shillong Times, including its editor and publisher, is "intimidatory" and undermines the freedom of press.
The Meghalaya High Court Friday held The Shillong Timeseditor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri guilty in a contempt case and fined them Rs 2 lakh each.
The contempt case relates to an article published by the paper on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.
The Editors Guild, in a statement, said it is deeply distressed over the Meghalaya High Court's order.
"The order, which among other things imposes a fine along with a threat of imprisonment and a ban on the publication, is intimidatory and undermines press freedom," the Guild said.
"It is ironical that the judiciary which should uphold press freedom has instead issued an order that militates against freedom of expression," the statement further said.
The Guild urged the judiciary to exercise its constitutional powers with "utmost caution and care" so that the role of a free media in a democracy is duly respected.