'I have obligation towards BJP': Piyush Goyal on why he was sent to defend Amit Shah's son
Jay Shah had filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad against The Wire over a report.
A day after BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay Shah slapped a defamation case against news website The Wire for a report on the latter and his businesses, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal attempted to set the record straight and gave the reason to the media as to why leaders of the BJP came out in the defence.
"Insinuations have been made that sought to create the wrong perception...We are defending because the party president and the prime minister have been dragged in, and I have an obligation towards the party and the government," The Indian Express quoted Goyal as saying. Goyal also added that criminal defamation case had been filed against news portal The Wire over its report on Jay Shah because the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president and Jay Shah's father Amit Shah and Goyal himself had been used in the article.
At a press conference organised by the BJP on Monday, Goyal also said that the row over Jay Shah was "very different from that of Robert Vadra". Jay Shah had filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad against The Wire over a report, which claimed his company's turnover grew exponentially after the party came to power in 2014.
The report in The Indian Express quoted another BJP leader (who requested anonymity) and said that the party "works as a family", and that they are "one team."
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 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 case has been filed under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy). Shah had said the news portal fist published an article, which was later "edited and reworded" to the current form. "The accused conspired to get a fabricated, reworded and edited version of the defamatory article to be published in place of the original version," he had said.
Claiming there was a "predetermined conspiracy hatched to defame" him, Shah had said he was given "unreasonable time to respond" and no further inquiry based on his response was made. A number of Union ministers and BJP leaders, including Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani and Ananth Kumar, had come out in strong defence of Amit Shah's son over the allegations.
Goyal had said that the BJP's conscience is clear over the matter and that is why Jay Shah had filed the defamation case.
The railways minister had also said that Vadra did not go to court, nor did he do anything to "prove his bonafide" but the Congress went on to "stall" Justice Dhingra committee report into his controversial land transactions. Vadra's "transactions were a case of round-tripping of money with the help of the (UPA) government," he had alleged.
With inputs from PTI
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