Defending Our Journalism

The Hon'ble Supreme Court issues notice and stays lawsuits filed against The Ken in Hajipur, Bihar and Ara, Bihar

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Since publishing its first story in July 2016, The Ken has stayed focused on delivering  deeply-reported, original and well-narrated business journalism to its subscribers every day. Even when it disturbs those with entrenched interests.

Over the past year there have been media reports that Mr Praveen Sinha, former MD of fashion e-commerce site, Jabong, had filed defamation cases against The Ken. The first of these was filed in Hajipur, Bihar, and related to publication of investigative articles on corporate misgovernance, conflict of interest and ethical if not legal lapses. Subsequently, a second case was filed against The Ken, in Ara, Bihar.

The case in Hajipur, Bihar asked for an injunction to have our articles removed while the one in Ara, Bihar additionally sought damages of Rs 10 crore.

The Ken is headquartered in Bengaluru, while Mr Sinha and Jabong, were both based out of Gurugram. Why then did Mr Sinha choose to file not one, but two suits against The Ken from different cities in Bihar, instead of Gurugram or Bengaluru? According to his own statements, it was because he accessed The Ken’s website during his travels to those cities.

As both these cases were filed in different district courts in Bihar, we faced tremendous inconvenience and harassment in pursuing our legal defence. Due to this we approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India seeking their transfer to the City Civil Court in Bengaluru. On hearing arguments the Hon’ble Supreme Court on September 6, 2017  issued notice and stayed further proceedings in Hajipur, Bihar and Ara, Bihar.

The Ken intends to fight these suits to the fullest extent as we believe in the right of journalists to report on controversial subjects or persons without fear of legal intimidation. We would like to restate and affirm to the factual accuracy and public interest served in our journalism and will pursue our legal remedies to vigorously defend ourselves against any allegations of defamation.

We are thankful for the strong support from our subscribers, which motivates us to tell true and in-depth business stories day after day, without bias or fear.

Link to the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order: http://www.sci.nic.in/supremecourt/2017/21745/21745_2017_Order_06-Sep-2017.pdf [PDF]

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