SC tells Jay Shah to sort out with news portal

Jay Shah with BJP president Amit Shah. Image Courtesy: Twitter

The Supreme Court once again on Monday stressed on sorting out the defamation case filed by Jay Shah, son of BJP president Amit Shah, against a news portal, saying the website issuing a clarification on its news report should assuage feelings.

“We don't believe in restrictions on press. There cannot be gagging of press,” a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, recalled the court's earlier suggestion to sort out differences.

“There is no question of any apology. But like it happens in print media, if something goes wrong, a clarification is published with full version of the aggrieved person,” the bench said.

The bench referred to a privilege notice issued against writer Shobha De by the Maharashtra Assembly and later withdrawn after she clarified her tweet. “We have upheld the validity of defamation provision but there cannot be restrictions on press,” the bench said.

Motivated reporting 

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Shah, contended that everyone was for freedom of the press but there cannot be motivated reporting, where unwarranted slant was given to income of the petitioner after 2014, while the fact was that he had suffered losses in business.

Advocate Nithya Ramakrishnan, appearing for 'Foundation for Independent Journalism', contended that the website 'Wire' had given Jay opportunity to respond to the queries and the article carried all his versions and even offered to carry it again.

The bench, however, posted the matter for further consideration in July. 

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SC tells Jay Shah to sort out with news portal

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