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Victory for The Wire as Court Lifts Injunction Granted to Jay Amit Shah

Decision a vindication of The Wire’s stand that its article ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ was a legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression in the public interest.

Jay Shah, Amit Shah

Jay Shah, Amit Shah.

Press Release
December 23, 2017

The civil court, Mirzapur, Ahmedabad on December 23, 2017, vacated the ex parte ad interim injunction imposed on The Wire in the wake of its recent story on the the meteoric rise in the business activities of BJP president Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah, following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ascension to power in 2014.

The court had originally granted Jay Shah an  all encompassing injunction on October 12, 2017, barring The Wire, its editors and the author of the story, ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ 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) (sic) either directly or indirectly on the subject matter with respect to the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever.”

The Wire had challenged the injunction on the grounds that it represented an unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of the press, and that there was nothing defamatory about the original article which was based entirely on public records and information provided by Jay Shah.

In his order, the judge noted:

“The plaintiff in the suit has neither denied or questioned the facts contained in the reports obtained through the Registrar of Companies and has also not objected to the data that has been published in the said article. It is also not the case of the plaintiff that the data obtained is a misleading one or the same is misrepresented by the defendants thereby depicting a false picture of defendant’s company”.

In a significant, near-total dilution of its previous all encompassing order, the court ruled on December 23 that its injunction is now restricted only to the line “Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister/elected as Prime Minister”.  Simply put,  barring the use of these words in relation to any discussion of its original story, The Wire is free to report and write on any and every aspect of Jay Shah’s business and public activities including the original story.

Earlier, Jay Shah’s lawyers had in court said that they were not asking for the original story to be taken down at this stage but only wanted no further discussion on the subject matter. However the civil court has not granted any such future injunction on the subject matter either.

Jay Shah’s lawyers sought a month’s extension of the original injunction granted (but now vacated) until they move the high court. The civil court said it would give them 15 days. The Wire opposed an extension of even one day.

Today’s decision by the civil court is a vindication of The Wire’s fundamental stand that its article ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ was a legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression in the public interest.

  • Anjan Basu

    Hearty congratulations to The Wire’s entire team on this fully-deserved victory! This could be the only legitimate resolution of the issue, of course, but the trying times we live in today made this resolution look elusive at one point of time. Great to know that the judiciary still does the right thing at times.

  • Deshaabhimaani Damodardas Subo

    The initial exparte order is a clear case of the learned judge acting under fear and duress of the petitioner, due to his father being a person whose very name is fearsome for most INDIAN people, and his far reaching political connections and influence over the executive branch of different spectrum of government machinery in India!
    There are very candid and clear guidelines and principles of firm jurisprudence established over a couple of hundred years in the least when a judge can grant an ad interim exparte injunction of an all pervasive nature Such as has been granted in this case in blatant and patent, and Prisma facae violation and breach of the fundamental rights of the constitution of India, and universal declaration of human rights of the UNO.

    The initial order was rather blind and without application of mind in a judicial and judicious manner, and the learned judge must be having enough training and experience in this regard.

    In such a situation there is no other reason other than fear and real or perceived pressure for issue of such an obnoxious order.
    It is not about wire!
    It is about democracy and the constitutional Republic India is and it’s preservation.

    There ought to be a campaign to have an inquiry instituted against the judge by concerned High Court for issuence of such a blatantly obnoxious order that is void abinitio.
    There is no way the judge can explain it as an order passed in the normal course exercising any degree of apllication of Mind.

    And the learned judge still appears to be entrapped in His delusionary belief that he has power to issue such an unsustainable order. The wire ought to in appeal independently to the high court and if necessary to the Supreme Court.