A Delhi court Tuesday took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s son Vivek Doval against ‘The Caravan’ magazine for publishing a defamatory article “with mala fide intent”.
The court will record evidence produced by Vivek, his business partner Amit Sharma and friend Nikhil Kapoor on January 30.
Besides the magazine, Vivek has filed a defamation complaint against the article’s writer, Kaushal Shroff, and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh for addressing a press conference on the basis of the report “without verifying the facts”.
On January 16, The Caravan had published an article, “The D Companies”, which stated that “Ajit Doval’s sons run a web of companies including a Cayman Islands hedge fund even as father demands crackdown on tax havens”.
It alleged that the fund headed by Vivek, based in the Cayman Islands, was involved in laundering black money and routing it to India after demonetisation was implemented in 2016.
According to Caravan’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal, they had given them four days to comment before doing the article, but no response was received from their side.
“Adequate time was given to them to respond…. We have gone by facts and we have documents in this regard,” he said to The Indian Express.
The complaint 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 prejudice in minds of readers against the complainant and his family,” it stated.