A Gujarat court on Friday set aside the criminal defamation complaint, and accompanying summons, against news website The Wire filed by the Adani Group for an article published in November. Additional Sessions judge NR Joshi said that the summoning order passed by a magistrate against The Wire and others “lacked any cogent reasoning”, the news website reported. The judge, who was hearing an appeal against the summons filed by The Wire also returned the complaint back to the magistrate for reconsideration.
The article, authored by former Economic and Political Weekly editor Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, claimed the Centre had amended Special Economic Zone rules to facilitate duty reimbursements for raw materials to Adani Power Limited, leading to a benefit of Rs 500 crores. It alleged the company had falsely claimed this reimbursement without actually paying the duty in the first place.
The article was first published on June 14, 2017, in the Economic and Political Weekly, which later removed it following notices from the Adani Group. The Wire republished the article on June 19, 2017, with the permission of the Economic and Political Weekly. The controversy surrounding the article and the decision of the Economic and Political Weekly management to pull it down had led to Thakurta resigning from the post of editor the following month.
The Adani Group had first filed a civil defamation case against Thakurta and the Wire.