The Supreme Court has stayed the judgment passed by Meghalaya High Court.The court had held Shillong Times editor and publisher guilty of contempt of court and had asked them to pay fine of Rs. 2 lakh.
Contempt of court is an offense of being disobedient to or being disrespectful towards a court of law.A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.
Article 129 and Article 215 empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts respectively,to punish people for their contempt.Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of courts to punish for their contempt and regulates their procedure.
There are two types of contempt.Civil contempt has been defined as wilful disobedience to any judgment,decree,direction,order,writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court and
Criminal Contempt is any publication which may result in (a)Scandalising the Court by lowering its authority.(b)Interference in the due course of judicial proceeding and (c)Creates an obstruction in administration of justice.
The contempt proceeding can be initiated till 1 year from the commission of an offence.Apology also forms a defence under the contempt of Court act.However,it should be unconditional and should be in good faith with the promise to abide by the order of the Court.