Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today restored a gag order against news portal “The Wire”, thereby debarring it from publishing any article related to the businesses of BJP chief Amit Shah’s son Jay. Justice Paresh Upadhyay allowed an appeal filed by Jay Shah against a lower court order, which had partly lifted the injunction against the news portal while restraining it from linking the article to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With today’s order, the portal will not be able to publish any article related to the businesses of the petitioner until the hearing concludes in a civil defamatory suit filed by him. Earlier, in its order passed on November 28 last year, the high court had rejected a petition moved by the seven defendants, including the author of the article – “The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah” – and the news portal’s editors and publisher, against the gag order passed by the lower court hearing the civil defamation suit.
The high court had then ordered them to go back to the lower court against its order.The lower court in its order passed in December last year partly allowed their petition, while restraining them from linking it to the prime minister. The lower court is hearing a civil defamation suit of Rs 100 crore filed by Jay Shah against the reporters, editors and the company over the article, which claimed that his company’s turnover rose 16,000 times in one year after the NDA came to power.
The article claimed that the company saw a huge rise in its turnover after the BJP came to power in 2014, and its revenue rose from Rs 50,000 to over Rs 80 crore in one year. Shah also filed a criminal defamation suit against the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddharth Varadarajan, Siddharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism.
In his suit, Shah termed the article as “scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libellous and consisting of several defamatory statements.”