A widespread message, shared by several prominent handles on Twitter, claims that The Wire offered an apology in the Supreme Court after losing the defamation suit filed by Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah against the digital news outlet for falsely accusing him. The Wire had published an article on October 8, 2017 which alleged that the turnover of a company owned by Jay Shah increased 16,000 times over in the year following the election of PM Narendra Modi.

BJP leader and former MP Hariom Pandey tweeted the claim on March 19.

An imposter account in the name of journalist Pushpendra Kulshrestha shared the claim, drawing 15,000 likes. The official account of Kulshrestha is @Pushpendraamu according to his Facebook profile.

Sandeep Thakur, who identifies as BJP Delhi social media and IT intellectual cell head in his bio, also tweeted the same.

Other handles that amplified the claim are @TheShivani5, @SaritaKaushik05 and @idineshdesai. A user @TheAshwiniRaj who claims to be an author at right-wing propaganda website Kreately and BJP member Tarun Rathi shared it as well.

False claim

Jay Shah had filed a criminal defamation case as well as a civil defamation case against The Wire in which he seeks Rs 100 crore in damages.

“The trial has not even started, and I don’t know on what basis people are making these outlandish claims,” said Siddharth Vardarajan, founding editor of The Wire, to Alt News.

The Wire moved the Supreme Court in January 2018, after the Gujarat high court refused to accept its plea that the criminal defamation case be quashed, reported the outlet itself in August 2019.

“A second petition was also filed in 2018, when an injunction against the further publication of material on the business affairs of Jay Amit Shah – that the trial court had imposed ex parte, and then vacated – was restored by the Gujarat high court,” The Wire further stated.

Both petitions were withdrawn and the case is proceeding straight to trial.

Journalist Rohini Singh who reported on the Jay Shah story also called out the misinformation on Twitter. “You have pronounced the judgement even before the hearing of the case has begun in the trial court,” she wrote.

A false claim that The Wire lost the defamation case filed by Jay Shah and offered him an apology in the Supreme Court was shared by members and supporters of the BJP.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.