In a landmark decision, the Karnataka High Court has imposed a hefty penalty of ₹10 lakh on leading media outlet The New Indian Express for its coverage of an alleged case of infidelity involving a judge. The court’s ruling comes in response to the newspaper’s failure to accurately report that the enquiry report in question was not accepted by the full bench of the High Court.
The controversy began when The New Indian Express published a detailed report on the alleged infidelity of a judge, sparking a wave of public outrage and scrutiny. However, the court found that the newspaper had failed to provide a balanced and accurate account of the situation by omitting the crucial information that the enquiry report had not been accepted by the full bench of the High Court.
Justice Ramesh Kumar, delivering the court’s verdict, emphasized the importance of responsible journalism and ethical reporting in matters involving the judiciary. He noted that the failure to disclose the full context of the enquiry report undermined the integrity of the judicial process and misled the public regarding the true nature of the case.
The High Court’s decision to levy a significant penalty on The New Indian Express serves as a stern warning to media organizations regarding the need for accuracy, fairness, and transparency in their reporting, especially when it concerns sensitive issues involving the judiciary. The court’s ruling reaffirms the principle that freedom of the press must be exercised responsibly, with due regard for the sanctity of the legal system and the reputation of individuals involved.
In response to the court’s decision, The New Indian Express has issued a statement expressing regret for the oversight in its reporting and acknowledging the importance of upholding journalistic standards in all circumstances. The newspaper has pledged to review its editorial processes to ensure that such lapses do not occur in the future, reaffirming its commitment to fair and ethical journalism.
The Karnataka High Court’s ruling serves as a reminder of the critical role that the media plays in upholding the principles of democracy and the rule of law. While freedom of the press is a fundamental right, it comes with the responsibility to report truthfully, accurately, and with integrity, particularly in matters that have the potential to impact the reputation and credibility of individuals and institutions.
As the dust settles on this contentious case, the legal and media communities alike are left to reflect on the implications of the Karnataka High Court’s decision and the broader significance of responsible journalism in preserving the integrity of the judiciary and upholding the public’s trust in the Fourth Estate.

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