Freedom of Expression

Jay Amit Shah Attempts to Gag The Wire

Press statement issued by The Wire

The Wire received in the afternoon of today, i.e. October 16, 2017, a set of documents in an envelope sent under the name of Milan S. Bhatt, Advocate, Ahmedabad.

There is no covering letter and the entire set appears to be of photocopies. Among these are the following

  1. Special Civil Suit No.442/2017 filed by Jay Amit Shah in the Court of the Fourth Additional Senior Civil Judge Ahmedabad Rural (Mirzapur) Ahmedabad .
  2. Application praying for an interim injunction pending the hearing and final disposal of the suit.
  3. Text purporting to be Order Below Exhibit 5 SPCS No.442/2017 dated October 12, 2017, of  B.K. Dasondi, 4th Addl Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural (Mirzapur), Ahmedabad, which reads verbatim as follows:

    Pending hearing and final disposal of the interim Injunction, defendants are restrained by order ad-interim injunction from using and publishing or printing in any electronic, print, digital or any other media, or broadcast,telecast, print and publish in any manner including by way of interview, holding Tv talks, debate and debates, news items, programs in any language on the basis of the article published in ‘THE WIRE ‘ (dated 8/10/2010) either directly or indirectly on the subject matter with respect to the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever.

    Order below Exhibit 5, issued by Fourth Additional Senior Civil Judge Ahmedabad Rural (Mirzapur) Ahmedabad

    The order is signed illegibly and faintly in some script appearing to be Devnagari-like.

The Wire was neither served notice nor given an opportunity to be heard before this ex-parte injunction was sought and granted.

It will be evident to anyone reading the Special Civil Suit that no single factual error has been substantively shown or pleaded against The Wire. No case of untruth has been made out against The Wire. Indeed, the plaint acknowledges that the full text of the lawyer’s exchange with The Wire was available on the website on the date of filing the suit, which is shown as October 12, 2017. Incidentally October 12, 2017 is also the date of the text of Order. The time of filing the suit or of the passing of “Order below Exhibit 5” is not available with The Wire.

It goes without saying that this attempt to gag The Wire will not go unchallenged.

Liked the story? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.
  • Anjan Basu

    For all one knows, this learned ‘order’ may have been written/typed out by Shah’s attorney himself so as to lighten the learned judge’s burden. Maybe the judge only needed to take the trouble of signing the ‘order’. If he signed it, that is. In the people’s court, however, a very different verdict has been arrived at, one that will be quite unsavoury for Shah & Co. The signature there is as clear as day.

    • kujur bachchan

      One can only expect acts of folly from this band of persons at the helm whose reason and sense have been comatose for the last three and half years. Francisco Goya was being prophetic when he etched ‘The Sleep pf reason produces monsters’.

  • The real battle will be fought in the People’s Court, nowhere else! This Honorable Court shall pronounce the final verdict! And facts shall triumph!

  • alok asthana

    In the people’s court, Shah ( and BJP) have already lost the case. Jay shah has cost Modi his PM post. Jay & Amit should watch out. Modi doesn’t forgive easily. And his revenge can be deadly.

    • How apt were one to go by past Modi-(re)cords, if a touch sardonic!!! Very well put.

  • kujur bachchan

    And we decided to let these bullies govern this great country of ours!

  • Amitabha Basu

    Such a blatantly ham-handed way of trying to intimidate The Wire is not going to be taken lying down … Jay Shah and Amit Shah cannot get away so easily.

  • DN

    I like it.

  • The Wire
  • Anjan Basu

    I agree. And you will please note that, in my comment, I did say that what I said would hold true if the court had indeed signed the order. I would not put it past our hyper patriots to cook up a fake court order. In that event, my comments cease to be valid.

  • Anjan Basu

    I was not being anti-judiciary. I was merely trying to point out the utter cynicism with which the defendant, in this case The Wire, was not given even a ghost of a chance to present its case before the learned judge and was, on the contrary, prevented from going ahead with its journalism. The judiciary is a very important pillar of our democracy, but so is the press/media. You cannot expect one to flourish at the expense of the other, can you?

  • Ranjit S

    I Support rohini keep it up.

  • S.N.Iyer

    This is standard operating procedure for Modi based policy of stifling truth. Not only should this be challenged but with no delay. This gag order can only be interim as a expartee order. The next tactic as was done on 2002,riots cases will be to get adjournments to delay the case. If necessary higher courts should be approached as this order affects freedom of speech.