New Delhi [India], November 20 (ANI): Delhi's Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar has filed a defamation suit in Delhi High Court and sought direction to take down an article published by a news portal 'The Wire' and the author of an article alleging links between Kumar's son and the beneficiary's family in the Land Over-Valuation matter.
The said article alleged a link between Chief secretary's son and a family that benefited from an "over-valued" plot of land when it was acquired by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the Dwarka Expressway project.
After hearing the initial arguments, the bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri posted the matter for Tuesday for detail hearing. Senior Advocates Maninder Singh and Raj Shekhar Rao appeared for the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar.
According to the suit, the allegations made in said article are patently false, baseless and misleading, and entirely divorced from true and correct facts.
Recently, Naresh Kumar, through lawyer Bani Dikshit, sent a legal notice to the news portal and stated that "First and foremost, the attempt at a 'sensational' headline of the Defamatory Publication incorrectly portrays a perception of guilt against my client and would mislead any reader into wrongly believing that my client is involved in some illegal activity."It also stated that the contents of the Defamatory Publication contain egregious inaccuracies and misleading information, coupled with a selective quotation of my client's statement given to you on your approach and insistence. It is pellucid that you have been reporting misleading news in a manner that is malicious and vindictive, apart from being highly sensationalised, despite the clarifications provided by my client.
As a media organisation, you had access to the facts and disclosures made by all persons named in the report, as well as my client's detailed response dated November 6, 2023; but it transpires that you have consciously and wantonly overlooked them to further an agenda directed by malice and vindictiveness solely against my client. Even assuming without agreeing that you did not have the entire facts, it was incumbent on you, as a media organisation, to undertake a thorough investigation and due diligence before publishing an inherently false and misleading article in the public domain, said the notice.
The suit further stated that certain key facts that conveniently, and rather deliberately, do not find reference in your article, include without limitation that, it was my client, who on his own volition took cognizance of the entire issue wherein the said Plot was being exorbitantly over-valued, and ensured that there should be no wrongful loss to public exchequer.
In fact, but for my client's intervention, the illegalities in the NHAI award would not have surfaced and the loss to the public exchequer would not have been averted. Therefore, in the absence of any direct connection/relation of my client, it is completely irresponsible, wrong, fallacious, it added. (ANI)