The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah and ‘The Wire’ to try to amicably settle the criminal defamation case lodged by the former against the news portal and others. The court also extended its interim order that had asked the Gujarat trial court not to proceed with the defamation case against the portal and its journalists, including Rohini Singh who had authored the story.
“Without opening the file, we want to ask senior counsel of both sides to sit together and try to sort it out,” the bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.
“Let these matters be listed in the first week of July for final disposal. Interim order to continue, in the meantime,” the bench recorded in its order.
Jay Shah had filed a civil defamation suit of Rs 100 crore against the website over an article which he said was defamatory in nature. The article published by the The Wire claimed that Jay Shah’s company’s turnover grew exponentially after the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre in 2014.
On April 12, the CJI-led bench had said it did not have time to hear and decide the case and ordered its listing before an appropriate bench for final disposal. However, the case was again listed today before the bench led by the CJI.
Shah had moved the lower court alleging defamation by the petitioners after the article published by the website claimed his company’s turnover grew exponentially after the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre in 2014.
The complaint was filed against Rohini Singh, the author, founding editors of the news portal Siddharth Varadarajan, Siddharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, which publishes The Wire.
The matter travelled to the apex court after the local court and the Gujarat High Court refused to quash the defamation complaint.
(With PTI inputs)