NEW DELHI: The civil defamation suit was 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, and author of a article, claiming an article published in the newspaper regarding the Rafale fighter deal was “libellous and derogatory“.
In the suit, the companies alleged the article titled ‘Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal was “libellous and derogatory”, and it “misleads the general public to believe that undue business favors are being extended to them by the government of the day“.
The suit was filed on 24 August in the 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.
Reliance Group Companies filed two suits. The first is against Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of the National Herald, its editor in-charge, Zafar Agha and the author of the article, Vishwadeepak. The second suit was filed against Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil seeking Rs 5,000 crore in damages for defamation.
The contentious article claimed that Anil Ambani had established Reliance Defence as a company ten days before PM Modi announced the Rafale deal. Reliance Aerostructure Ltd would go on to enter into a joint-venture with Dassault Aviation (the makers of Rafale jets). DA agreed to pump in 100 million Euros in the joint venture after India inked a deal to purchase 36 Rafale jets from France.
A number of defamation suits were previously filed against Congress leaders like Randeep Surjewala who have been at the forefront of the party’s attack.