The High Court (HC) on Wednesday exonerated seven journalists and two Bangla dailies – “The daily Samakal and Nayadiganta” from contempt of court charges disposing of a rule issued for issuance and publication of a statement on a sub-judice matter. Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed cleared them of the charges after they apologised unconditionally during hearing on the contempt rule on Wednesday. The HC bench comprising Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order after the day’s proceedings which was marked by a scuffle between some lawyers and journalists. The seven journalists who were exempted from contempt of court charges are Shahed Chowdhury and Ilias Khan, president and general secretary respectively of DRU, MM Jasim and Saddam Hossain, president and general secretary respectively of Dhaka University Journalists Association, Kazi Mobarak Hossain and M Sujaul Hossain, president and general secretary respectively of Jagannath University Journalists Association and Abdur Rahman and Ilias Khan, president and general secretary respectively of Barisal Division Journalists Association. Lawyer Rokanuddin Mahmud had commented on the media and journalists during a contempt hearing of a rule against Prothom Alo’s Joint Editor Mizanur Rahman Khan on March 6 last. Four journalist bodies – the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), Dhaka University Journalists’ Association (DUJA), Jagannath University Journalists’ Association (JnUJA) and Barisal Division Journalists’ Association (BDJA) issued separate statements against Mahmud’s remark on Saturday last. They demanded the withdrawal of the lawyer’s statement published in ‘Dainik Samakal’ and ‘Naya Diganta.’. The HC summoned seven journalists before it on Wednesday to explain their statement over Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud’s allegations in a contempt of court charge filed against Mizanur Rahman, joint editor of Bangla daily Prothom Alo. Shortly after resuming the day’s proceedings, both the judges left the courtroom as chaos erupted there when some lawyers and journalists got involved in the scuffle. The judges, at one point, left the room as the scuffle continued. The police rushed in and drove away the reporters and closed the courtroom. The proceedings were held at Justice Naima Haider’s chamber later when the situation became normal. After holding hearing on the contempt rule, the court pronounced its verdict. Advocate Shahdin Malik moved the case on behalf of journalists. He said that the court dismissed the contempt of court charge against two dailies and seven journalists as they sought apology unconditionally.