Amit Shah’s son to sue news portal for Rs 100 cr over ‘defamatory’ article

New Delhi: Rejecting the Congress’ charge over business transactions of its chief Amit Shah’s son, the BJP on Sunday said it is not avoiding the issue but has gone on the offensive, as Jay Amit Shah is filing a criminal and a Rs 100 crore civil defamation case in the matter.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal told a press conference in Delhi that the BJP was “confident” that there is no wrongdoing on the part of Jay Amit Shah and also hit out at the Congress for opposing the publication of Justice Dhingra report into the controversial land transactions of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

“We are not avoiding the issue. On the contrary, we have gone on the offensive,” he said.

Goyal also issued a statement of Jay Amit Shah in which the BJP chief’s son said he will sue a news website’s owner, editor and author for Rs 100 crore for an article that makes “false, derogatory and defamatory imputation against me by creating in the minds of right-thinking people an impression that my business owes its ‘success’ to my father Amit Shah’s political position”.

The minister asserted that Jay Amit Shah’s businesses are fully legitimate and conducted in a lawful manner on commercial lines, which is reflected in his tax records and through banking transactions.

Goyal released the statement after opposition parties sought a probe following the publication of a news story which said the turnover of the company of Amit Shahs son saw a huge rise after the Modi government came to power in 2014.

“The article makes false, derogatory and defamatory imputation against me by creating in the minds of right- thinking people an impression that my business owes its ‘success’ to my father Shri Amitbhai Shah’s political position,” the statement said.

Responding to other suggestions made in the story, Goyal said Jay Amit Shah had taken loans either from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) or Non-funded Credit Facilities from cooperative bank on purely commercial terms strictly in accordance with law.

He said he has repaid the loans by cheque on commercial rate of interest and within the time stipulated and added that he had mortgaged his family property with the cooperative bank to get the credit facilities.

He said his lawyer had given details of all his legitimate transactions to the author of the story and all questions posed by the writer were answered with details since Jay Amit Shah had “nothing to hide”.

“Since the website has proceeded in making an absolutely false imputation in a highly slanted article thereby damaging my reputation, I have decided to prosecute the Author, Editor/(s) and the Owner/(s) of the aforesaid news website for criminal defamation and sue them for an amount of Rs 100 crore. Both the actions will be filed at Ahmedabad where I stay, carry on my business and where the cause of action has arisen,” the statement said.

“If anyone else republishes or re-broadcasts the imputations made in the article, such person or entity will also be guilty of the very same criminal and civil liability,” it said.