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E-gambling company SLAPPs ex-NUJS gaming laws blogger Jay Sayta for reporting on its CAG audit

NUJS Kolkata 2015 alumni Jay Sayta, who reports on India’s gambling laws on his website glaws.in, and The Wire, are facing E-Cool Gaming Solutions' criminal defamation case in far-flung Mizoram for Sayta's story reporting on a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit of the complainant, reported Medianama.

Sayta commented by phone today: “We will be filing a quashing petition in the Aizawl bench of the Gauhati high court. We are studying it and it does not seem to have much grounds but we will challenge it legally.”

Besides The Wire and Sayta, the Foundation for Independent Journalism, which runs The Wire, and its co-founder Siddharth Varadarajan, have also been made co-defendants in the complaint.

The dispute

“The story, titled “Spotlight on Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group as CAG Probes Rs 11,000 Crore Lottery Irregularity”, which remains published on The Wire, alleged that as per the CAG report, companies that had been awarded tenders have “not deposited proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets to the consolidated fund of the state, as required under the Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, 2010.

The CAG report also stated that out of the sale of lottery tickets of Rs 11,834.22 crores, only Rs 25.45 crores was deposited in the state exchequer,” reported The Wire. The defamation case alleges that “facts regarding the CAG Report titled Performance Audit of Mizoram State Lotteries have been twisted and manipulated, thereby making false and defamatory allegations against E-Cool Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd.,” the report added.

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