Ahmedabad: A metropolitan court here today adjourned the hearing of the criminal defamation case filed by BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay against The Wire website as the complainant’s advocate could not turn up in the court.
A lawyer for Jay Shah sought time from additional chief metropolitan magistrate S.K. Gadhvi, saying that senior advocate S.V. Raju could not be present in the court as he was busy in the high court. The court granted the time and adjourned the hearing to October 16.
Jay Shah had filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court against The Wire on Monday over a report, which claimed his firm Temple Enterprise’s turnover grew exponentially from Rs 50,000 in March 2015 to Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16 after the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014. The Same year, his company got access to an unsecured loan of Rs 15.78 crore from KIFS, the report added.
The magistrate had ordered a court inquiry in the matter under CrPC section 202 (to inquire into the case to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding).
In his application, Shah prayed for “criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements”.
The seven respondents in the case are the author of the article, Rohini Singh, founding editors of The Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M.K. Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and Foundation for Independent Journalism, a non-profit company that publishes The Wire.
The case seeks action against respondents under IPC Sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The court will issue summonses to the respondents only after the initial inquiry establishes a case.
Shah is yet to file a civil defamation suit against the respondents. He had earlier announced that he will also file a Rs 100 crore civil defamation suit.
A political storm has erupted after the article was published.
Soon after the report surfaced, Congress demanded BJP national president, Amit Shah to quit from his position to ensure a fair investigation over allegations of impropriety against Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.
Congress party spokesperson, Anand Sharma also questioned union railways minister, Piyush Goyal about why he is defending Jay Shah.
Earlier, Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi questioned PM Modi’s silence over the allegations against Jay. In a tweet, he wrote, “Modiji, Jay Shah-‘jada’ kha gya. Aap chowkidaar the ya bhaagidaar? Kuch to boliye”. , Gandhi was in the past called “shahzada” by the PM.
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आप चौकीदार थे या भागीदार? कुछ तो बोलिए
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 9, 2017