Court reserves order on The Wire’s plea against gag order

Ahmedabad: An Ahmedabad court today concluded the hearing on a petition filed by news portal The Wire against a gag order in connection with a civil defamation suit filed by Jay Shah, son of BJP chief Amit Shah.

Additional Senior Civil Judge B K Dasondi said the order may be passed on December 23.

Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had rejected the news portal’s petition challenging the gag order, and asked it to approach the court which had passed the order.

The high court also asked the lower court to decide The Wire’s plea before December 26.

The lower court had issued an injunction while hearing the Rs 100-crore civil defamation suit filed by Jay Shah against seven respondents over an article published by the news portal.

It prohibited The Wire from publishing, broadcasting or printing anything on the basis of the article in question till the suit was disposed of.

Meanwhile, in a criminal defamation suit filed by Jay Shah over the same article, a magistrate’s court allowed exemption applications of Rohini Singh, the author of the article, and another respondent, allowing them to remain absent during today’s hearing.

Additional Metropolitan Magistrate S K Gadhvi adjourned the proceedings to January 9.

Rohini Singh, founding editors of The Wire Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and representative of the Foundation for Independent Journalism, a non-profit company that publishes ‘The Wire’, are the respondents in two cases.

Jay Shah dragged the news portal to court over the article by Rohini Singh which claimed that the turnover of his firm grew exponentially after the BJP came to power in 2014.