A Judicial Magistrate First Class court here convicted senior journalist Gauri Lankesh of defamation in two cases and sentenced her to six months in jail and imposed Rs. 10,000 penalty, in all, on Monday. However, the court also granted her bail and allowed her to appeal to a higher court.
Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi and BJP leader Umesh Dushi had individually filed defamation cases objecting to a report against BJP leaders published by Ms. Gouri Lanesh in her periodical on January 23, 2008.
Advocate S.M. Laxmeshwar, who represented Mr. Joshi, told presspersons that the court sentenced Ms. Gouri Lankesh to six months in jail and also ordered her to pay a penalty of Rs. 5,000. The court found that the article was published without any basis, he said.
Sanjeev Badaskar, counsel for Mr. Dushi, said that in their case, Ms. Gauri Lankesh was the second accused and the court had ordered a similar punishment. Along with imprisonment, the court directed her to pay Rs. 4,000 to the plaintiff and Rs. 1,000 as court expenses, he said.
Speaking to presspersons Ms. Gouri Lankesh said that some people wanted to see her behind bars but that had not happened as the court granted her bail. She said that she would appeal against the verdict in a higher court.