Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group on Wednesday said it has sent a Rs 1,000 crore defamation notice to Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam for making “false and baseless” allegations against the company. The company will also file a contempt petition against Nirupam in the Bombay High Court, it said.
Nirupam had on Tuesday alleged that the “takeover” of debt-ridden Mumbai power business of Reliance Infrastructure by Adani Transmission Ltd was a deal executed at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office to “bail out” Anil Ambani. “Nirupam has made several false, frivolous and baseless allegations and defamatory statements in relation to the proposed sale of Reliance Infrastructure’s integrated Mumbai power business to Adani Transmission and linking it with the purchase of Rafale fighter aircrafts by the government from France,” the company said in a statement here.
The Reliance wants Nirupam to immediately withdraw his allegations and apologise within 72 hours after the receipt of the notice, the statement said. The company also demanded that Nirupam “desist from making any such statements concerning the Reliance Group without first ascertaining the facts.”
RInfra had signed an agreement with Adani Transmission for 100 per cent sale of its Mumbai power business for a total consideration value of Rs 18,800 crore. With the execution of the deal, the company hopes to become debt-free and with up to Rs 3,000 crore cash surplus. “We fear that the liability of both the companies will be passed on to the 30 lakh power consumers in Mumbai suburbs, 10 lakh of whom are slum dwellers,” Nirupam had said yesterday while underlining the need for “transparency” in executing such mega deals.
When contacted on Wednesday, Nirupam said he was yet to receive any such notice. He, however, was unfazed, saying he would continue to raise such issues in future too to ensure that the people of the city are not subjected to hardships. “Does demanding transparency in the deal and seeking proper investigation into it amount to defamation?.. If this is defamation, so be it,” the Congress leader said Wednesday.
“Instead of threatening me with defamation, the company should address the issues raised by me and ensure 30 lakh electricity consumers in suburban Mumbai are not put to any hardships of power tariff hike,” he said. He added that he already has a Rs 100 crore defamation suit filed against him in Bombay High Court, which is still pending.