A court in Ahmedabad on Tuesday issued summons to news website The Wire on a criminal defamation petition the Adani Group filed against it for an article published in November, PTI reported on Wednesday. The seven respondents in the case – the author of the article, the five editors of The Wire and the non-profit that runs it – have to appear in court at the next hearing on April 27.
In its petition, the Adani Group alleged that the article titled “Does it make economic sense for IOC and GAIL to invest in Adani’s LNG terminals?” was published “with the sole intention of harming the reputation” of the Adani Power Maharashtra Limited and to create “cheap publicity”.
The plea – filed under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code – also alleges that the article was one of “distaste, prejudice and malice against the complainant” that was written as part of a “well-thought-out conspiracy” to tarnish the company’s image.
This development comes a day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up The Wire’s petition seeking to have quashed the criminal defamation case businessman Jay Shah filed against it in October.
Jay Shah, the son of Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, had filed a criminal defamation case against the website after it published a story alleging that the revenues of his company grew massively the year after the BJP came to power in 2014. In March, the Supreme Court had restrained proceedings in the case in a Gujarat court.