On the report of 42 girl students of Pharmacy College of Borgaon (Meghe) in Wardha, Marathi daily Deshonnati had, along with other newspapers had carried a news article of sexual harassment against the principal of college. In the concerned defamation suit filed by Principal, Yeole, JMFC court of Mrs Ansari, had pronounced a 6-months sentence to two editors of Deshonnati – Prakash Pohare and Rajesh Rajore.
Both the editors had filed an appeal against the order of JMFC in the district court. On July 21, 2014, court of Vibha Kankanwadi, district court, dismissed the appeal filed against the order of JMFC court.
In all 42 girl students of Pharmacy College run by Vidarbha Youth Welfare Society, had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against the principal of college, Pramod Yewale. The news item was published in Deshonnati in June 2003. The very next day, a clarification repudiating the charge, given by the principal Yewale was also published in the news paper.
Other big newspapers had also published the news item based on the complaint filed by girl students of the college. But, the Principal Yeoale, filed a criminal as well as civil suit only against Deshonnati, in June 2003.
Three years back, in 2010, JMFC court had pronounced 6-months imprisonment to the two editors of Deshonnati. The civil court had slapped a fine of Rs 50 lakhs on the newspaper. The newspaper filed appeal in both the cases. This is the dismissal of appeal against conviction in criminal case.
In its appeal, Deshonnati claimed that only on the basis of complaint given by 42 girl students that the news item was published and the clarification against the charge, given by the principal was also published the next day. Thus there was no intention of defamation. The court after hearing both the sides gave the verdict of dismissal. This is considered a landmark decision for newspaper industry.
Adv Taori appeared for Principal Pramod Yeoale, Deshonnati’s case was pleaded by Adv Choube from Wardha.