Anil Ambani led Reliance Group is all set to withdraw Rs 5000 crore civil defamation suits which is filed in an Ahmedabad court against several Congress leaders and National Herald newspaper over their statements and an article on the contoversial Rafale fighter jet deal. Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Aerostructure, which are part of the Reliance Group, had filed civil defamation suits against several Congress leaders like Sunil Jakhar, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Shaktisinh Gohil, a few journalists and news organisations like National Herald. The defamation suit against the Congress leaders was related to press briefings, public agitations and articles in the media on alleged corruption in the Rafale deal.
The decision to withdraw the defamation suits is seen as a huge judgement ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019 results. On May 23, the counting will be held and a new government will be in place after the results.
It had also filed two cases against National Herald – one against the editor-in-chief Zafar Agha and journalist Vishwa Deepak and the second against Associated Journals Limited, Agha and journalist Bhasha Singh.
The petition reads – the article “misleads the general public to believe that undue business favours are being extended to them by the government of the day and it conveys a negative image and perception of Reliance Group and its chairman Ambani and caused a damage on the reputation on the company.
The complainant’s lawyer Rasesh Parikh has said that they are going to withdraw the law suits against the defendants. P S Champaneri, the lawyer representing the defendant, has said he was informed by the Reliance Group’s lawyer that they are going to withdraw the defamation suits against them. Meanwhile, Champaneri has added that the process to withdraw the defamation suits will be taken up in court when it resumes after the summer break.