Ahmedabad, Aug 25 (UNI) Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Reliance Group-owned Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited, formerly Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited/Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and another subsidiary, filed a defamation suit of Rs 5000 crore against the publishing firm of National Herald, the Associated Journals Limited, Editor-in-Chief Zafar Agha and writer of an article in the said Congress mouthpiece, in a city court.
The court of Civil and Sessions Judge P J Tamakuwala issued notices to Agha and Principal Correspondent of National Herald Vishwa Deepak, who had filed the story and and others concerned with the matter.
The story titled ‘Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal’ (It was later corrected on its website, changing 10 days to 12 days) claimed that the company was formed on March 28, 2015, days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s France visit in April that year regarding Rafale deal, pertaining to purchase of fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
It claimed that the company was formed with a meager paid up capital of only Rs five lakh. The companies have termed the article as libelous and defamatory.
In the petition filed on Friday, it has been said that the article conveys a ‘negative image’ and ‘adversely affects the public perception’ of Reliance Group and its chairman Ambani, and has caused considerable damage to the reputation and goodwill of petitioner firms.
It has sought damage to the tune of Rs 5000 crore.
The Court has fixed September 7 as the next date of hearing.
The ADAG has, in the past also, filed such suits against several Congress leaders, including party Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
An ADAG Spokesperson, however, did not return the queries about the suit filed in Ahmedabad.
The suit has been filed a day before Congress launched a nationwide campaign against BJP government on the aircraft deal, claiming that Defence-related norms were overlooked to give undue advantage to the company, which has no experience in the field of aircraft making.
In another development, Anil Ambani also resigned as a Director of the Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited due to technical regulations on Saturday.