HC Refuses Stay Order Barring The Wire From Writing About Jay Shah


An article alleging that Jay Shah’s business grew 16,000-fold since 2014 has triggered a political storm.
An article alleging that Jay Shah’s business grew 16,000-fold since 2014 has triggered a political storm.
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HC Refuses Stay Order Barring The Wire From Writing About Jay Shah

News website ‘The Wire’ published a report on 8 October alleging that BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s business grew 16,000-fold the year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in 2014. The article triggered a political storm with the Opposition demanding that the Modi government at the Centre order a probe by the CBI or Enforcement Directorate.

Later on 9 October, Shah filed a defamation suit against seven people at ‘The Wire’, including the author of the article, its editor and the owner of the publication. While a lower court issued a gag order in favour of Shah barring the website for publishing articles on Jay Shah, the Gujarat High Court refused to stay the order.

Snapshotclose

  • Jay Shah filed a defamation suit against The Wire
  • On Wednesday, a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad adjourned the hearing to 16 October
  • ‘The Wire’ claimed Jay Shah’s company recorded 16,000-fold growth the year after PM Modi’s election
  • The BJP termed the story “false, derogatory and defamatory”
  • The Congress, the Left and the AAP demand investigation by ED, CBI
  • Govt lawyer Tushar Mehta is representing Shah in court
  • Gujarat High Court refuses to stay lower court’s order banning The Wire for publishing articles on Jay Shah
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Gujarat HC Refuses to Stay Gag Order Against The Wire, Seeks Reply from Jay Shah

Gujarat High Court has refused to stay a lower court's ex parte order barring The Wire from publishing any article on Jay Shah's firm, reported The Indian Express.

An Ahemdabad court had previously issued a gag order in favour of Jay Shah, following which The Wire had moved the high court.

Dushyant Dave, senior lawyer appearing for The Wire said the article published by his client wasn't defamatory in nature and was based on facts and public documents.

The High Court also issued a notice to Jay Shah seeking his reply in the case. The Indian Express reported that the next hearing will be after two weeks.

Those Accusing Jay Shah of Wrongdoing Should Go to Court: RSS

RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Saturday said those levelling allegations against BJP chief Amit Shah's son should go to court, and the RSS does not want to take a stand on the issue.

Taking a different line from what was said by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale on Thursday, Joshi said those who have levelled allegations against Jay Shah should go to the court.

"It is not necessary that allegations levelled against someone are true. There is no reason to believe this. How allegations are levelled these days, everybody knows," Joshi said.

He said it is for the court of law to decide who is a guilty and who is not. "So those making charges against Jay Shah should approach the courts because RSS does not deem it fit to take a stand on such issues," he said at the conclusion of the three-day meet of RSS National Executive Committee.

Hosabale had earlier said that if there are corruption allegations against anyone, an inquiry should be done and "action can be taken accordingly. But there has to be prima facie evidence of wrong-doing".

"Why Did Congress Not Gather Courage to Defamation Suits?"

BJP president Amit Shah on 13 October said there was “no question of corruption” in his son Jay Shah's company.

The BJP chief also came down heavily on the Congress, which had seized on the report to attack him as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress has faced so many allegations of corruption. Have they ever filed a criminal defamation or a Rs 100 crore civil defamation suit? Why did they not gather the courage to file such cases. Jay has filed a defamation suit. He has sought an inquiry (by approaching the court). Now, you can go to the court with the facts

'It's For Accusers to Prove Charges': RSS Spokesperson Hosabale

RSS spokesperson Dattatreya Hosabale in Bhopal said that it was for the accusers to prove charges against Jay Shah, the son of Amit Shah, reported NDTV.

If there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoings, then there should be a probe, but the charges should be proven. But its for accusers to prove charge.
Dattatreya Hosabale, RSS Spokesperson

Court Adjourns Hearing on Wednesday

A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the criminal defamation case filed by BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay against 'The Wire' as the complainant's advocate was not present in the court.

A lawyer for Jay Shah sought time from Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SK Gadhvi, saying senior advocate S V Raju could not be present in the court as he was busy in the high court.

The court granted the time – and adjourned the hearing to 16 October.

The magistrate had ordered a court inquiry in the matter under CrPC section 202 (to inquire into the case to decide whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding).

BJP Has Lost Moral High Ground: Yashwant Sinha

BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha criticised his party's strong defence of its president Amit Shah's son, saying the high moral ground it had acquired all these years appears to have been lost.

The former finance minister, who has turned a strong critic of the Modi government’s economic policies, objected to the filing of a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against ‘The Wire’, which carried a story on Jay Shah’s business.

Such an attempt to suppress the voice of the media was avoidable, he told reporters here.

I will certainly like to say that the manner in which a central minister jumped into fray in defence of Jay Shah was not called for. He is a central minister not a chartered accountant of Jay Shah.
Yashwant Sinha

He also expressed his reservations over the "very special circumstances" under which Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was cleared to fight Jay Shah's defamation case against The Wire.

"Perhaps, the high moral ground we have acquired all these months and years appears to have been lost," Sinha said.

Allegations against Jay Shah Baseless, Says Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that allegations against BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay have no basis and there was no need for any investigation.

The minister said such allegations are levelled “from time to time”.

Such allegations have surfaced in the past too. They are levelled from time to time. It has no basis.

Rahul Taunts Modi Govt on Jay Shah Allegations

Addressing a rally on his second day of Gujarat visit, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi taunted the Narendra Modi government by calling Jay Shah the “icon of start up India.”

He added the “chowkidaar” of India, referring the prime minister, does “not like to comment” on the allegations made against Jay Shah.

Have you heard of Start up India? Have you heard about the icon of start up India Jay Shah? But the chowkidaar of India is quiet, he does not like to comment on these things (Jay Shah).
Rahul Gandhi

Jay Shah Files Defamation Suit

Jay Shah has filed a defamation suit against the author (of the article on him), editor and owner of The Wire, in an Ahmedabad Court. The hearing is on 11 October.

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SV Raju, Jay Shah’s lawyer said the court has ordered an inquiry under Section 202 of the CrPC.

Rahul Gandhi on Jay Shah

Rahul Gandhi targeted PM Modi over his "silence" over the Jay Shah controversy.

Gandhi raised the issue as he began the second leg of his campaign tour in the poll-bound state from central Gujarat.

This is a strange world. In 2014, the company was nothing. Modi ji came (to power in 2014) and launched ‘start up India’, ‘make in India’, then introduced demonetisation and GST. This destroyed small businessmen and farmers. But from this fire, one company comes up. It was nothing in 2014 but in a few months it became so big that this company’s worth of Rs 50,000 rose to Rs 80 crore.

Rahul "Reminds" Gujarat About PM Modi's Poll Promise

Addressing a rally on his visit to Gujarat, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi “reminded” people of Prime Minister's famous poll promise where he said, ‘Na khaunga na khane dunga’ and asked if the prime minister followed what he said.

He raised this statement in response to the allegations against BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.

'Not Read About Allegations': Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reportedly said that “he has not read the newspaper” and hence it was not “fair to comment” on the allegations made against Jay Shah.

I have not read anything. Till the time I know all the aspects it won’t be fair to comment: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Amit Shah’s son.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Jay Shah Responds to Allegations

Responding to the allegations made against him in the Wire's article, Jay Shah said that the article makes "derogatory, false and defamatory imputations"

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    Jay Shah’s statement responding to allegations.
    Jay Shah’s statement responding to allegations.(Photo: Twitter/@MalviyaAmit)
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    Jay Shah’s lawyers statement.
    Jay Shah’s lawyers statement. (Photo: Twitter/@MalviyaAmit)
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Jay Shah’s lawyers statement.
    Jay Shah’s lawyers statement. (Photo: Twitter/@MalviyaAmit)

Jairam Ramesh Addresses Press Conference

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh addressed the media, questioning BJP on the allegations made against party president’s son Jay Shah. He said that the “self-styled champions of integrity and probity exposed by acts of Amit Shah's worthy son'.

RaGa Hits Out at Modi-Shah Partnership

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted again on 9 October, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has aided Amit Shah, and that they have amassed huge profits.

Intimidation, Harassment Used As Tools: Rohini Singh

Rohini Singh, the journalist who wrote the controversial story on Jay Shah in The Wire, took to Facebook to say that her primary job was to “speak truth to power.” She said that “intimidation and harassment” were often used as tools by people in power to make journalists “toe the line”.

Kapil Sibal Leads Opposition Charge, Demands Inquiry

The Congress, CPI-M and the AAP on 8 October sought an inquiry into allegations by an article on The Wire, that the turnover of a company linked to Jay Shah, son of BJP president Amit Shah, increased 16,000 times after the BJP secured power at the Centre in 2014.

Leading the charge for Congress, senior leader Kapil Sibal demanded a probe into the allegations, and claimed that it was a case of “crony capitalism”.

Referring to the allegations against Jay Shah, Sibal said:

Today, we ask a question to the Prime Minister, the pradhan sevak...Now, what do you have to say about crony capitalism? Will you give direction to the CBI to probe the matter? Will you ask ED to arrest these people?
Kapil Sibal, Congress Leader

Read full story here.

Rahul Gandhi Hits Out at Modi Govt

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Modi-government and commented on the article by saying that Amit Shah’s son was the “only beneficiary” of demonetisation.

What the Wire Article Alleges

The Wire, in a report titled 'The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah', alleged that turnover of Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, a company owned by Amit Shah's son Jay Shah, grew from Rs 50,000 in March 2015 to Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16. The increase in revenue rose to Rs 51 crore of foreign earnings, from zero earnings the previous year, the article alleged.

In the same financial year, Temple Enterprise got access to an unsecured loan of Rs 15.78 crore from financial services firm KIFS. According to the article, the revenue of KIFS for the same year was Rs 7 crore.

Responding on behalf of Jay Shah, his lawyer said to The Wire:

Jay Shah, Jitendra Shah and their associates invested share capital and unsecured loans in this company [Temple Enterprise]. Since working capital facilities were not available to a new business/company, interest bearing Inter Corporate Deposits (ICD) were taken from time to time from KIFS Financial Services Ltd., a registered NBFC, to run this business. Tax has been deducted on the interest paid (TDS) regularly and the principal and interest amount has been repaid in full.

Quoting RoC filings, The Wire reported that Jay Shah's Temple Enterprise was described as"wholesale trade and where more than 95% of revenues come from the sale of agricultural products".

The report also claims that Jay Shah’s other company, Kusum Finserve, incorporated in July 2015 got inter-corporate deposits from KIFS Financial worth Rs 2.6 crore in FY 2014-15, and a loan of Rs 4.9 crore from an unnamed source.

This entity has also been regularly raising ICDs/loans from KIFS Financial Services for the last several years and the amount of Rs 4.9 crore was the outstanding closing balance from them. These amounts were used for regular working capital. Tax has been deducted on the interest paid (TDS) and principal and interest amount has been repaid in full.
Amit Shah Lawyer

The partnership also reportedly availed a loan of a Rs 10.35 crore from a public sector undertaking, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in March 2016. The PSU was under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, headed at that time by Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

Responding to question raised by the reporter, Shah’s lawyer responded by saying:

The loan taken from IREDA for setting up a 2.1 MW wind energy plant is based on the equipment prices prevailing at that point of time as per industry standards (approx Rs 14.3 crore) and duly appraised and sanctioned in the normal course of business. The outstanding loan as on 30-06-2017 is Rs 8.52 crore and interest and repayment of loan are regular.

Piyush Goyal Calls the Article 'Derogatory'

Union Minister Piyush Goyal responded to the allegations levelled against Jay Shah, the son of BJP President Amit Shah, in an article published by The Wire on 8 October. Goyal termed the article “derogatory, defamatory, hollow and baseless.”

He said that Jay Shah will file both civil and criminal defamation suit against the author and the publication at the Ahmedabad High Court.

He said that Shah was a “legitimate” businessman and that the article was trying to damage the reputation of his father Amit Shah.

Jay Shah will file a criminal defamation suit of Rs. 100 crore against the author of the article, the editor and the owner of news website The Wire.
Piyush Goyal

Read full story here.