Anil Ambani-led conglomerate has filed a Rs 5,000-crore defamation suit against Congress-owned National Herald, claiming that an article published in the newspaper regarding the Rafale fighter jet deal was “libellous and derogatory”. The company also filed a second, similar suit against Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil seeking Rs 5,000 crore in damages for defamation.
The two civil defamation suits were filed by Reliance Defence, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Aerostructure, which belong to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, against the Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of the National Herald, its editor-in-charge Zafar Agha, and the author of the article, Vishwa Deepak.
The suits were filed yesterday in the New Delhi court of city civil and sessions judge P J Tamakuwala, who issued notices to the respondents and sought replies by September 7, said advocate P S Champaneri who is representing both the National Herald and Gohil.
The suit against the newspaper alleged that the article titled ‘Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal’ was libellous and defamatory, and it “misleads the general public to believe that undue business favours are being extended to them by the government of the day”.
Earlier, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group had sent legal notices to several Congress leaders, asking them to “cease and desist” from levelling allegations against the company in connection with Rafale deal. Incidentally, the suit was filed on the day, the Congress party has launched month-long intense campaign to `expose’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s `Rafal deal’.