The Adani Group is set to withdraw all defamation suits filed against news portal thewire.in and its editors in an Ahmedabad court for articles against its companies, highly placed sources told IANS on Wednesday.
Adani Power Maharashtra Limited had filed two suits against the web portal, while Group firm Adani Petronet Port Dahej Limited had moved a defamation case against it.
This comes a day after the Reliance Group, led by Anil Ambani, announced its decision to withdraw the Rs 5,000 crore civil defamation suit, filed in a court in Ahmedabad, against Congress leaders and the National Herald newspaper over their statements and an article on the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal. The formal process to withdraw the suits would begin once the court resumes after the summer vacation.
In the Adani vs Wire case, besides the portal, its founder-editors Siddharth Varadarajan and M.K.Venu, as well as Siddharth Bhatia, Monobina Gupta, Pamela Philipose and Noor Mohammed were also named in the lawsuits.
Confirming the development, Varadarajan told IANS: "We understand that the Adani Group has moved to withdraw all the defamation cases, civil and criminal, instituted against The Wire over the past two years for various articles we have published on the Group's businesses. We will issue a statement once this process attains finality."
The Adani Group filed a Rs 100-crore civil defamation suit against The Wire after it published an article titled âDoes It Make Economic Sense for IOC and Gail India to Invest in Adaniâs LNG Terminals?â on November 11, 2017.
According to a Newslaundry report, the civil suit by Adanis sought an injunction against raising questions in regard to the project.
The Adani Group has in the past filed and lost a defamation suit against The Wire and Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) for an article published by EPW titled âModi Governmentâs Rs 500-Crore Bonanza to the Adani Groupâ on June 17, 2017 and reproduced by The Wire on June 19. While EPW took it down, Wire has refused to.
Reliance vs National Herald
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group had filed a defamation suit against National Herald over an article with the headline "Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal".
The company stated that the article "misleads the general public to believe that undue business favours are being extended to them by the government of the day" and that it sent out a "negative image" and "adversely affects the public perception" of Reliance Group and its chairman Ambani.
Seeking damages to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore, the company asserted that the article had inflicted "considerable damage" to the reputation and goodwill of the Reliance Group.
Reliance Defence, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Aerostructure, which are companies of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group, had filed civil defamation cases against Congress leaders Sunil Jakhar, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Shaktisinh Gohil, and some journalists and news organisations like the National Herald.
Defamation suits were also filed against the National Herald's editor Zafar Agha, and Vishwa Deepak, the author of a news article published by it.
In its defamation suits, the company had stated that the defendants had made libellous and derogatory statements against the Reliance Group and its chairman Anil Ambani over the Rafale fighter jet deal and sought a directive to them to "cease and desist" from levelling such allegations against the Group.
The complainant's lawyer, Rasesh Parikh, told reporters: "We have intimated the defendants that we are going to withdraw the suits against them.â
Concurring, P.S. Champaneri, the counsel for the National Herald and some other defendants, said the Reliance Group's counsel informed him that he had received instructions from the Group to withdraw the defamation cases.
With IANS inputs