Ahmedabad, 23 December 2017: A civil court here on Saturday vacated an ex parte and interim injunction imposed on news web portal ‘The Wire’ against further use and follow-up of its story in October about the astronomical rise in the business of BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.
The court had originally on October 12 granted Jay Shah an all-encompassing stay order which prevented ‘The Wire’, its editors and the author of the story, ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’, from taking the story any further.
The injunction was against, “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’ (dated 8/10/2010) either directly or indirectly on the subject matter with respect to the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever”.
The portal had challenged the injunction contending that it was 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.
The court has now lifted all the restrictions except the use of words (after) “Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister/elected as Prime Minister”.
In a press release on Saturday, ‘The Wire’ stated that after the latest order of the court, it is now “free to report and write on any and every aspect of Jay Shah’s business and public activities including the original story”.
Jay Shah’s advocates had submitted to the court that they were not asking for the original story to be taken down at this stage but only wanted no further discussion on the subject matter. However, the civil court has not granted this any longer. Shah’s counsel sought an extension of one more month of the original injunction until they moved a higher court.
While the civil court was willing to grant them 15 days, ‘The Wire’ opposed any more extension of even a day.
The press release from the web portal stated, “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.”