Jay Shah files criminal defamation case against 'The Wire'

World Monday 09/October/2017 21:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Jay Shah files criminal defamation case against 'The Wire'

Ahmedabad: BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay on Monday filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court here against news portal 'The Wire' over a report, which claimed his firm's turnover grew exponentially after the party came to power in 2014.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S. K. Gadhvi ordered a court inquiry into the matter under CrPC section 202 (to inquire into the case to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding).
In his application, Shah prayed for "criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements".
The seven respondents in the case are the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M. K. Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes 'The Wire'.
The case has been filed under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy). Shah said the news portal fist published an article, which was later "edited and reworded" to the current form.
"The accused conspired to get a fabricated, reworded and edited version of the defamatory article to be published in place of the original version," he said. Claiming there was a "predetermined conspiracy hatched to defame" him, Shah said he was given "unreasonable time to respond" and no further inquiry based on his response was made.
He said the article did not reflect the loss that his company incurred in FY 2015-16, and that the net profit and gross turnover for the said financial year was "wilfully and malafidely" delinked into two different unconnected paragraphs.
The Wire had said in its report that a company owned by Jay Shah saw a huge rise in its turnover after the BJP came to power in 2014.
However, Shah rejected the charge, insisting that the story was "false, derogatory and defamatory". The court is of the opinion that it will issue summonses to the respondents only after the initial inquiry establishes a case. The next hearing for a court inquiry will be on October 11 when two witnesses from Jay Shah's side, who had first informed him about the publication of the article are likely to depose.
Shah is yet to file a civil defamation suit against the respondents. He had earlier announced that he will also file a Rs1 billion civil defamation suit. A political storm has erupted after the article titled 'Golden touch of Jay Amit Shah' was published.
The Congress has demanded an inquiry into the matter and ouster of Amit Shah, while the BJP called the article defamatory.