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Row on Karnataka Assembly's jail term for 2 scribes

There has been considerable criticism of the Karnataka Assembly, which has sentenced two editors of Kannada tabloids, including noted scribe Ravi Belagere, to one year in jail for "breach of privilege" over their alleged defamatory articles against state legislators. A resolution to punish the two journalists — Belagere, who is Editor of Hi Bangalore, and Anil Raju, Editor of Yelahanka Voice — in connection with the publication of the articles was adopted by the Assembly by a voice vote on Friday.

Besides the jail term, Speaker K B Koliwad also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of them. "The State Assembly has decided to punish the two journalists of Kannada tabloids for (allegedly) publishing defamatory articles against legislators," Koliwad announced on the floor of the House here. "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," he said. If the journalists fail to pay the fine, the jail term would be extended to another six months, Koliwad said.
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