Supreme Court's stern warning for news channels, websites

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The Supreme Court, on Thursday (March 15), asked a Gujarat trial court not to proceed till April 12 with the criminal defamation complaint filed by BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay Shah against the news portal The Wire and its journalists.

The top court also asked Jay Shah and others involved, to file responses within two weeks to the plea filed by the journalist. "They should be more responsible and the realisation must dawn upon them", the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The bench, also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, observed that the media should be more responsible and said it can not write whatever it feels about anyone.

Appearing for Shah, Senior Advocate N K Kaul contended that The Wire story was a "manufactured story, scurrilous reporting" and to damage Shah's reputation.

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At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the portal and scribes, said the article contained details from records which are in "public domain electronically".

Giving partial relief to the Wire, a three- judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, asked the trail court to suspend the proceeding of criminal defamation case temporarily.

Jay Shah had filed a criminal defamation case in a metropolitan court in Gujarat in November previous year against news portal The Wire over a report claiming his firm's turnover grew exponentially after the party came to power in 2014. Whatever suits your imagination can you write anything and get away (sic)?

"Irresponsible reporting is not the journalistic culture".

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"Are they free to write anything?" ". their writing sometimes amounts to sheer contempt of court", he added.

"A promising day for media freedom, Supreme Court restrains further proceedings in Jay Shah criminal defamation case against @thewire_in".

The Wire had earlier published an article "The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah", based on documentary evidence on BJP Chief Amit Shah's son Jay Shah in which the Wire had alleged reported Jay shah's company's turnover which grew by multiple times since BJP came to power in 2014. The order, however, restrained the news website from indirectly or directly linking the article with Prime Minister Narendra Modi till the final disposal of the defamation suit filed by Jay Shah. We are not going to gag the media.The question of gagging the media does not arise. Jay Shah had rejected the charge made in the article, insisting the story was "false, derogatory and defamatory".

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