A Delhi court Saturday summoned Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and ‘The Caravan’ magazine as accused in a defamation case filed by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval’s son Vivek Doval against them.
They have been called to appear before the court on April 25 after Vivek Doval sought action against ‘The Caravan’ magazine, among others, over an article.
Besides the magazine and the Congress leader, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal also summoned the article writer, Kaushal Shroff.
“All three are summoned for April 25,” the judge said. Vivek Doval had sought prosecution of Ramesh for using the article’s content to address a press conference “without verifying the facts”. However, The Caravan’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal had said, “We have gone by facts and we have documents…”
The article has alleged that the fund headed by Vivek Doval, based in the Cayman Islands, was involved in the laundering of black money and routing it to India after demonetisation was implemented in 2016. “Ajit Doval’s sons run a web of companies including a Cayman Islands hedge fund even as father demands crackdown on tax havens,” The Caravan’s January 16 article, “The D Companies”, stated.
The order was issued after Vivek Doval, a UK national, recorded his pre-summoning evidence along with his business partner Amit Sharma and friend Nikhil Kapoor in the complaint so that the accused could be summoned. The complaint has stated, “The article has been used as a political tool to foster in unscrupulous hands to seek vendetta and wreak vengeance. An analysis of the article suggests Accused No. 3 (Shroff) has purposely and with mala fide intent scripted the article in a manner that the average reader will perceive the facts narrated therein only in a certain tainted colour. The title of the article itself is scandalous…”
“Accused No. 2 (Caravan) and 3 (Shroff), with a mala fide intent, titled the article ‘The D-Companies’, creating a prejudice in minds of readers against the complainant and his family,” it stated.
Doval stated that announcement of demonetisation and the firm’s launch, “though proximate in time, are two completely independent events, none being related to other, even remotely”.
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