The Bombay High Court on Thursday sentenced a former journalist, Ketan Tirodkar, to three months in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 for criminal contempt of court, reported Live Law.
The court took suo motu cognisance of Tirodkar’s Facebook posts, in which he accused sitting and retired judges of the court of “selling justice” at “rates which bail orders and anticipatory bail orders can be obtained”, according to The Indian Express. He termed some retired judges as “middlemen” and accused retired and sitting judges of being “land grabbers”.
“We would be failing in our duty if we do not deal with this and in the words of the honourable Supreme Court itself, a flagrant onslaught on the independence of judiciary, destructive of the orderly administration of justice, and a challenge to the supremacy of the rule of law,” a bench of Justices AS Oka, SC Dharmadhikari and RM Savant said.
The court also said that Tirodkar has not disowned the post or disavowed its contents. “He has proceeded on the footing that the publication is attributable to him, but he seems to suggest that he had either a right to do so or, unmindful of the consequences of the legislation and its provisions,” the court said. It added that if Tirodkar “feels that he can get away by such publication, he is sadly mistaken”.
Tirodkar said he will challenge the High Court’s order in the Supreme Court.
Tirodkar was arrested in December for posting defamatory statements against a few sitting judges of the High Court and police officials, including the Mumbai police commissioner.