Skip to main content

Ahmedabad Court vacates injunction, says "The Wire" can publish stories on Amit Shah's son, but can't name Modi

By Our Representative
In a major setback to the son of BJP president Amit Shah, Jay, who had filed a Rs 100 crore defamation case against "The Wire" for an article on meteoric rise ("16,000 times") in his business activities following the party's ascension to power at the Centre in 2014, the civil court, Mirzapur, Ahmedabad, has vacated the "ex parte ad interim injunction" imposed on the news portal.
The court had granted Jay an "all-encompassing" injunction on October 12, 2017, barring the news portal, its editors and the author of the story, ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ from “using and publishing or printing in any electronic, print, digital or any other media, or broadcast, telecast, print and publish in any manner including by way of interview, holding TV talks, debate and debates, news items, programmes in any language on the basis of the article published in ‘The Wire' either directly or indirectly on the subject matter..."
"The Wire" challenged the injunction on the grounds that it represented an "unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of the press, and that there was nothing defamatory about the original article which was based entirely on public records and information provided by Jay Shah", a press release by the news portal says.
Calling it a "significant, near-total dilution of its previous all encompassing order", "The Wire" says, "The court ruled on December 23 that its injunction is now restricted only to the line 'Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister/elected as Prime Minister'."
"Simply put", the news portal contines, "Barring the use of these words in relation to any discussion of its original story,'The Wire' is free to report and write on any and every aspect of Jay Shah’s business and public activities including the original story."
Shah’s lawyers have been of the view that they were not asking for the original story to be taken off the net at this stage but only wanted no further discussion on the subject matter. The lawyers sought a month’s extension of the original injunction granted until they move the high court. While the civil court said it would give them 15 days, "The Wire" opposed extension of even a day. The injunction finally stood vacated.
"Today’s decision by the civil court is a vindication of 'The Wire’s' fundamental stand that its article ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ was a legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression in the public interest", says the news portal.
"The Wire" believes, an important legal-constitutional question, with serious implications for the media industry as a whole, has arisen following the civil defamation suit filed by Jay against its "investigative story" on how some of his businesses grew 16,000 times.
"The question is whether an ad interim (temporary) injunction against publishing follow up stories on a subject can become open ended and therefore assume the nature of a near permanent injunction", "The Wire" wonders, quoting Shah's lawyer, Nirupam Nanavati, as arguing that in money/property suits injunctions are granted and status quo maintained till the main suit is settled one way or the other, and the same should apply to the grant of injunction in this case.
"Nanavati was thus suggesting that the temporary injunction against further publication of follow up stories from the original investigation of Jay Shah’s businesses can be continued till the Rs 100 crore damages suit is settled", the news portal alleges.
However, "The Wire" quotes Nitya Ramakrishnan, it's lawyer, as saying that the law is "precisely the opposite", adding, "A claim of damages on that very ground disentitles him to an injunction. Jay cannot file a defamation suit and simultaneously seek an open-ended injunction preventing 'The Wire' from bringing more facts to establish the truth of all the assertions in its investigations."
"Ramakrishnan further argued that Jay had in the first place acknowledged in writing all the facts 'The Wire' had published in regard to his business activities – turnover, profits/losses, loans – which were accessed from the public record maintained by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs", it adds.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.