The Supreme Court on Thursday restrained proceedings in a Gujarat court in the criminal defamation case filed by businessman Jay Shah against the news website The Wire. The court said it would hear a petition by the website to get the case quashed on April 12, the website’s founding editors Siddharth Varadarajan and MK Venu said.
Jay Shah, Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah’s son, had filed the criminal defamation case against The Wire in October 2017 after it published a story alleging that the revenues of his company grew massively the year after the party came to power in 2014.
The website then moved the Gujarat High Court to get the case quashed, but the court refused to do so in January. The High Court said the report was prima facie defamatory and the journalists would have to face trial. Journalist Rohini Singh, who wrote the article, the website’s founding editors, public editor and managing editor – all accused in the case – had filed the petition.
The website’s lawyer Kapil Sibal told the court that The Wire’s story was only “asking questions”, The Indian Express reported. “If journalism is going to be throttled like this, no journalist can ask questions,” he said.