After NDTV, Reliance Group Files Rs 7000 Crore Defamation Suit Against The Citizen Over Rafale Coverage
On Tuesday, Anil Ambani’s Reliance group slammed a 7000 crore defamation suit against the news organisation, The Citizen. The founding editor of the organisation, Seema Mustafa received the notice which alleged defamation over their coverage of Rafale deal.
While rejecting the charges, The Citizen released its official statement on the issue stating that they are ready to fight for the truth.
The Citizen is a nonfunded news organization that takes pride in honesty, courage, and independence. We believe in professional integrity and maintain a code of ethics centring on public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence, and accountability.
While highlighting the importance of independent journalism, the statement added, “We reject attempts to silence the media, and believe that an independent media — devoid of political or corporate funding — is crucial to the future of journalism. #TheCitizenIsYou”
In 2016, India and France signed a deal for the delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft to IAF. Later, opposition leaders started accusing the government of hiding the truth behind the deal. Rahul Gandhi also alleged that India is overpaying for the Rafale aircraft in order to benefit Anil Ambani’s Reliance group.
Further, the issue was fueled as French President Francois Hollande claimed in September that the Indian government had proposed Ambani’s Reliance Defence’s name for the Rafale deal.
Earlier this week, NDTV also faced a 10,000 crore defamation suit for the same reason. The lawsuit was filed in relation to an episode of NDTV’s weekly show Truth vs Hype that aired on September 29.
In response NDTV said,” As the Rafale deal has become a larger news story in India, the Reliance group has been on a notice-serving spree; to sue a news company for 10,000 crores in a court in Gujarat on false and frivolous charges, ignoring facts that are widely reported everywhere and not just by NDTV, can only be interpreted as an unsophisticated warning to the media to stop doing its job.” Their court hearing is scheduled for October 26.
In August, National Herald also faced similar charges worth Rs 5,000 crore on the pretext that their article on the Rafale fighter deal was “libellous and derogatory”.