‘The Wire’ barred from writing on Jay Shah to protect his ‘right to live with dignity’



An Ahmedabad court last week passed an order barring The Wire from publishing any further report on BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s business turnover “so that the right to live with dignity of the plaintiff (Jay) may be protected”.

Additional Senior Civil Judge B K Dasondi of Ahmedabad rural court observed that the “injunction should be granted to applicant/plaintiff (Jay)” even though notice was not served upon the opposite parties (The Wire, its editor, the writer of the article, and others).

About not hearing arguments of the website before issuing the injunction, the order said, “…it is mandatory for this court to issue notice of such application to the opposite party (The Wire). But in the present case, it appears that if an immediate remedy is not given to the applicant, there is a chance of publishing the news, for which the present plaintiff has filed the suit.”

On October 8, The Wire had published a report stating, among other things, that the turnover of a company owned by (Amit) Shah’s son increased 16,000 times in the year following election of Narendra Modi.

The order stated, “This court is of the opinion that if the application (of Jay) is not allowed, then it may lead to prejudice with the rights and interest of the applicant.”

In his order, the judge prohibited the website from “using and publishing or printing in any electronic, print, digital or any other media, or broadcast, telecast, print and publish… in any language on the basis of article published in “The Wire” dated 8/10/17 either directly or indirectly on the subject matter with respect to plaintiff in any manner whatsoever”.

The court directed Jay to “deliver to the opposite parties (The Wire) a copy of application”.
The order was passed on October 12 on a civil suit and damage for Rs 100 crore, filed by Jay against The Wire.

The order mentions that although notice to appear has not been served to the defendants (The Wire), Jay’s advocates sought grant of “interim injunction, as serving notice to the defendants would tantamount to cause injury to the immediate legal rights of the applicants”.

Senior counsel Nirupam Nanavati, who appeared for Jay, submitted, “If ad-interim injunction will not be granted, then the defendants may tarnish the reputation and dignity of the plaintiff.” He also submitted, according to the court’s order, that “procedure of serving notice for the present application would result in delay, and such delay would defeat the purpose of granting injunction…”

Citing two judgments of the Delhi HC, judge Dasondi wrote, “…this court has discretionary power to grant interim relief in case where the defendants no-1 to 7 has published online news, for which the present suit has been filed by the plaintiff. It appears to this court that injunction should be granted to applicant/plaintiff…”

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