The Wire a notorious Media company is already facing six cases of defamation for 300 crores from the Adani group. Three of these are criminal cases and three civil cases. It is also facing two from BJP president Amit Shah’s son (one criminal and one civil worth Rs 100 crore), two suits from BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (for Rs 40 crore) and one Rs 10 crore suit from Venkatratnam Ravishankar Ramnarayanpet, who goes by the name ‘Sri Sri Ravishankar’.
Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure has sued The Wire for Rs 6,000 crore in Ahmedabad city civil court for an online video show on the controversial Rafale deal.
The video discussion –titled ‘Rafale Deal: Understanding the Controversy’ – was published on 23 August 2018. The discussion included defence journalist Ajai Shukla who seems to be highly biased and The Wire’s M.K. Venu as participants, with a self styled national security analyst Happymon Jacob anchoring the show.
The lawsuit has been filed against The Wire’s founding editors and Shukla, and also The Wire’s office manager.
The show, was based on half truths on whether the right process was followed by the Modi government to acquire 36 Rafale jets. Such defence procurement by very nature cannot and should not reveal vital elements of the deal and so cannot be transparent in nature.
Based on half truths the discussion naturally tried to insinuate as to how the deal took place at the eleventh hour and whether Reliance Infrastructure’s track record was taken into consideration by Dassault when it chose the company as an offset partner.
The Reliance Group and Anil Ambani naturally saw through the falsehood of the said program and the statements made during the discussion were found to be wholly incorrect and misleading, made with a deliberate pre-determined motive to harm and injure the reputation of both the company and its chairman.
The company has chosen Ahmedabad as the forum for its case because court fees for defamation cases are capped at Rs 75,000, regardless of the damages claimed. The civil suit hearing has been listed for November 27. Siddharth Varadarajan, a founding editor of The Wire, as usual said that the latest case by the Anil Ambani-led company is an attempt to silence the media and discourage journalists from asking questions about the Rafale deal. “We will not be deterred by such tactics,” he said, adding that The Wire would contest the suit and any other case Reliance files.