New Delhi: Jay Amit Shah on Monday filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court in Gujarat against seven people of a news portal over its story that claimed that his company's turnover saw a huge rise after BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S K Gadhvi ordered a court inquiry into the matter under CrPC section 302.
In his application, Jay prayed for, "criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing" his reputation through an article, terming it "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 news portal Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and MK Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes The Wire.
The court was of the opinion that it will issue summonses to the respondents only after the initial inquiry establishes a case.
The next hearing for a court inquiry will be on 11 October when two witnesses from Jay's side who had first informed him about the publication of the article are likely to depose.
A case has been filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily cause grievous hurt) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy). Shah, however, has not filed the Rs 100 crore civil defamation suit against the respondents.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will represent Jay, son of BJP chief Amit Shah, in the criminal defamation case against the report's author, the editor, and owner of the news portal.
"I have taken permission from the law ministry on 6 October for this issue. I am being consulted in this case. I may even appear for the case in court," Mehta told NDTV.
Union minister Piyush Goyal said Mehta had sought law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's permission to appear for Jay, and the approval was granted.
Goyal said that the purpose of the story was to defame BJP and its government by making derogatory and defamatory imputations.
Asked about the Congress' attack on BJP over the claim that the government was in the know of the entire episode as the ASG was given permission even before the story appeared, Goyal said that they were aware of the matter as the news portal had sent Jay a questionnaire.
"We believe that he (Jay) has been wronged and he must get justice. There is no harm if the best of lawyers appear for him. An ASG can appear in a matter between two private parties after taking permission," he told reporters.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Oct 09, 2017 19:18 PM | Updated Date: Oct 09, 2017 20:57 PM