Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
The Wire article on Jay Shah prima facie defamatory: HC

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: January 9, 2018
URL:   https://m.timesofindia.com/city/ahmedabad/the-wire-article-on-jay-shah-prima-facie-defamatory-hc/amp_articleshow/62421475.cms

In a setback to journalists of the news portal The Wire, Gujarat high court on Monday said that its article on the sudden rise in revenue of the company owned by Jay Shah, the son BJP national chief Amit Shah, appears to be defamatory and the journalists will have to face trial on charges of criminal defamation.

Justice J B Pardiwala refused to quash the criminal defamation proceedings that the metropolitan court initiated on the complaint that Jay Shah filed against the journalists of The Wire for publishing an article 'The Magic Touch of Jay Amit Shah', which said that Shah's company's revenue went up to Rs 80 crore from Rs 50,000 in a short period of time.

After hearing the case, the judge said that from the two articles published by The Wire, "a case is made out to proceed against the writ applicants (journalists) for the offence of defamation". The order reads, "The most disturbing part of the article, the imputation which could be termed as prima facie defamatory is the averment that the turnover of the company owned by the complainant (Jay Shah), who happens to be the son of the leader of the Bhartiya Janta Party increased 16,000 times over in the year following the election of Sri Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and the elevation of his father to the post of the party president."

The judge observed that the writer cannot escape from the intendent innuendo.

"Prima facie, the article tries to portray a picture that an ordinary company, which had a meagre revenue of Rs 50,000 proceeded to accumulate revenue of Rs 80 crore in a single year and that is only because of the political position of the father of the complainant and at a time when Shri Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister," the court said.

The judge further said, "What the court has to consider is the effect of such an article on the mind of an ordinary right-thinking member of the society, particularly, bearing in mind the class of persons who would be interested in reading such article.

In a country like India, it does not take a second for the people in general to start thinking that the complainant has prospered only because of his political contacts. People may even infer corrupt practice at the end of the complainant. In such circumstances, the article published by the writ applicants, prima facie, could be termed as defamatory in nature."
«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements