AHMEDABAD: A Gujarat court has rejected the six-month-old defamation case filed by industrialist Gautam Adani’s Adani Group against Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, senior journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of The Economic and Political Weekly, three other journalists and eminent news portal The Wire. The court only ordered the defendants to remove a sentence and an adverb from the 3500-word article.
The article “Modi Government’s Rs 500-Crore Bonanza to the Adani Group” was published in EPW on June 17, 2017 and was reproduced in The Wire on June 19. The Adani Group was so furious over the article that EPW was forced to sack Thakurta.
Moreover, on June 24 and then on July 5, the Adani Group had sent the defamation notice to the publisher of the EPW, namely, Sameeksha Trust and the authors of the article – Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Abir Dasgupta, Advait Rao Palepu and Shinzani Jain. The Wire was also dragged to the court as it had republished the article.
In his November 16 order, which was ignored by the media despite the case being high profile, Principal Senior Civil Judge Jaiminkumar R Pandit, Bhuj, Kutch, rejected the defamation suit against the publishers and authors of the article. The judge, however, ordered the publishers to remove this sentence from the article: “The High Court was misled and wrongly recorded the customs duty on electricity from the SEZ to DTA will not be maintainable as this will lead to double taxation.” The judge also ordered removal of the adverb “Surprisingly” in the same paragraph.
Following the court order, The Wire has added the following note at the end of the same article. “The Wire had contested the application for injunction moved by M/s Adani Power Limited, regarding the article titled “Modi Government’s Rs 500-Crore Bonanza to the Adani Group”. The Ld. Principal Senior Civil Judge (Bhuj-Kacch) has accepted all The Wire’s contentions in the said application and has only ordered removal of one line pertaining to a High Court decision as well as one adverb. The Wire is complying with the Ld. Principal Senior Civil Judge’s order dated 16 November, 2017 and removing the said sentence and adverb.”