Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group has sued NDTV for Rs 10,000 crore in an Ahmedabad court for its reporting on the controversial Rafale jets deal between India and France. So far, Anil Ambani has sued Congress mouthpiece National Herald and AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.
NDTV’s Suparna Singh tweeted, “NDTV has been sued by Anil Ambani’s Reliance for 10,000 crores in an AHMEDABAD court. For our coverage of Rafale. We will fight this brazen attempt at harassment and intimidation.”
NDTV has been sued by Anil Ambani’s Reliance for 10,000 crores in an AHMEDABAD court. For our coverage of Rafale. We will fight this brazen attempt at harassment and intimidation.
— Suparna Singh (@Suparna_Singh) October 18, 2018
A report by the channel on its website said that the hearing was set to take place on 23 October. It said, “NDTV will argue that the charges of defamation are nothing more than a heavy-handed attempt by Anil Ambani’s group to suppress the facts and prevent the media from doing its job – asking questions about a defence deal and seeking answers that are very much in public interest.”
The Reliance, which was made the Indian offset partner with Dassault Aviation, has filed the lawsuit against the NDTV’s show Truth vs Hype, which had reportedly carried a report on the dubious Rafale deal. The channel said that it had sent multiple requests to the Anil Ambani’s company for a response but the latter ‘ignored’ them.
Anil Ambani’s role had first come under scanner when Janta Ka Reporter first highlighted the irregularities in the defence deal struch between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President Francois Hollande. Hollande had recently dropped a bombshell by revealing that it was the Indian government, which had suggested the name of Anil Ambani’s company for the offset partner of Dassault in India. Curiously, the Indian government had preferred Reliance over the public entity with years of experience in manufacturing of defence products, HAL. Reliance’s defence company had come into existence just 10 days before the Rafale deal was signed.
More recently an internal document of Dassault had revealed that one of its top executives had admitted that the selection of Anil Ambani’s company as the offset partner was mandatory for the French company to secure the defence deal.
Janta Ka Reporter in its three part series last had first exposed the scam in the purchase of Rafale jets from the French company Dassault aviation. (You can read them here Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3).