NEW DELHI :
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed The Wire, a news portal, and its scribes, to withdraw their appeal challenging a Gujarat high court order in the defamation case filed by Union home minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah for publishing a news report on his business activities.
The apex court also said that the trial against the news portal will be expeditiously completed by the competent court.
Though the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra allowed the withdrawal of appeals pending in the apex court for around one-and-a-half years, it expressed anguish over the way journalism was being practised in the country.
Responding to senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for The Wire, the bench also comprising justices M.R. Shah and B.R. Gavai said it has become a fashion to serve a notice and then even before it can be answered, articles are published within five to six hours.
The Wire issued a press statement: “Circumstances have arisen as per which we believe it is best if we make use of the opportunity to justify everything we have stated in our article at the trial. We are therefore withdrawing. We believe the fight for media freedom will have to be advanced at all levels. Our article was factual, based not only on records, but on facts admitted by Jay Amit Shah. Though it is still very much our belief that neither a criminal case nor an injunction is legally justifiable, we intend to face trial in Gujarat, secure in the knowledge that constitutionally mandated rights of the media will eventually prevail."