High Court (India)

May 21, 2019

Defamation Suits Against Congress, National Herald Withdrawn by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group


Congress and National Herald statements against Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group’s Rafale jet deal that led to defamation lawsuits by the latter were withdrawn by the group. The company said that the allegations against the Rafale jet deal were intended for political gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

"We believe that the defamatory statements by certain individuals and corporate bodies with regard to the offset agreement between Reliance Group and Dassault Aviation were made for political purposes in the run up to the Lok Sabha election 2019 that have concluded on Sunday, 19 May, 2019. Besides, the subject matter is pending for adjudication before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. Therefore, the Group has decided to withdraw the defamation suits filed by it against these individuals and corporate bodies," Reliance Group sources said.

National Herald newspapers and other defendants in the case confirmed the group’s lawyer had spoken to them about withdrawal of the suits. The courts are closed for vacation and the withdrawal process will be initiated once court re-opens, said National Herald representative, P.S. Champaneri.

Civil defamation lawsuits were filed by the Anil Ambani –led Reliance Group against Congress leaders including Sunil Jakhar, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Shaktisinh Gohil. The lawsuits had also covered editors of news organizations like the National Herald, Zafar Agha and Vishwadeepak.

The Rs.5,000 crore defamation lawsuit were being heard in Ahmedabad Civil and Sessions Court. The suits said the defendants made libelous and derogatory statements against Reliance Group and its Chairman Anil Ambani in connection with the Rafale fighter jets. They urged the court to restrain the defendants from issuing such derogatory statements and mislead the public.

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