Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Saturday apologised to Vivek Doval, the son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, in a criminal defamation case.
Vivek Doval had filed the case against Ramesh as well as The Caravan magazine and journalist Kaushal Shroff following the publication of the article titled ‘The D-Companies’. The article had alleged that the NSA’s sons ran a web of companies, including a Cayman Islands hedge fund to round-trip black money during the time of demonetisation.
Ramesh then conducted a press conference on January 17, 2019 in which he cited the article to made statements on the NSA, his family and business ventures. On Saturday, he told the court that he “may have gone overboard” and “realized that perhaps some independent verification may have been in order”.
The court had taken cognizance of the criminal defamation complaint in January 2019. Ramesh was granted bail in May 2019.
Presenting his apology before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sachin Gupta, Ramesh submitted: “I want to clarify that these statements or accusations were made drawing conclusions from an article that was published the previous day in The Caravan magazine. As the case progressed, I realised that perhaps the same independent verification may have been in order.”
Ramesh stated in his apology: “General elections were close and the questions raised in the article seemed appropriate for being highlighted in making certain insinuations against you and your family. Thus, I would like to offer my apologies to you and your family for any hurt the statements may have caused. I would also urge the INC to remove the press conference available on their website.”
Vivek Doval’s lawyer, DP Singh, said they have “accepted Ramesh’s apology and given their statement to the court accepting his apology”.
Even as the court has proceeded to close the criminal defamation case against Ramesh, proceedings against The Caravan and Shroff will continue, Singh said.
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