While lifting the ex parte injunction against The Wire (www.thewire.in) for its story on Jay Amit Shah and his businesses, additional senior civil judge BK Dasondi of the Ahmedabad (rural) magistrate’s court made some sharp comments about the nature of freedom of expression and the potential damage to it while also citing several precedents. Judge Dasondi vacated the original injunction, while imposing a caveat on The Wire – not to use the line “Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister/elected as Prime Minister” in further stories or discussions based on the original 8 October 2017 story on the business affairs of Jay Shah.
The ex parte ad interim injunction imposed on The Wire relating to a recently published story harbouring suspicions on the unforeseen rise in the business activities of BJP president Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah following the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power back at the centre in 2014 was vacated by a civil court on 23 December 2017, in Mirzapur, Ahmedabad. The court granted an injunction to Jay Amit Shah on 12 October 2017, barring The Wire, its editors and the author of ‘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, programs in any language on the basis of the article published in The Wire (dated 8/10/2010) (sic) either directly or indirectly on the subject matter with respect to the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever.”
The Wire challenged the injunction stating that it is a restriction on the freedom of press, and nothing defamatory was published in the original article and that it was purely based on public records and information provided by Jay Shah. In the 23 December 2017 order, the judge noted; “The plaintiff in the suit has neither denied or questioned the facts contained in the reports obtained through the Registrar of Companies and also has not objected to the data that has been published in the said article. It is also not the case of the plaintiff that the data obtained is a misleading one or the same is misrepresented by the defendants thereby depicting a false picture of defendant’s company.”
The complete order is available on https://thewire.in/207777/the-wire-jay-amit-shah/