Anil Ambani withdraws defamation suits

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw the Rs 5,000 crore civil defamation suits filed against Congress leaders and National Herald newspaper, saying it believes their statements and article on the Rafale fighter jet deal were made for political purposes in the run up to the general elections.

The Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi had over the past few months alleged corruption in the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and claimed that Ambani’s group got Rs 30,000 crore of benefit by way of getting offset contracts of the deal.

Reliance Group had filed defamation suits against some Congress leaders but not against Gandhi. “We have intimated the defendants that we are going to withdraw the suits against them,” the complainant’s lawyer, Rasesh Parikh, said in Ahmedabad.

P.S. Champaneri, the lawyer representing the National Herald and some other defendants, said he was told by the Reliance Group’s counsel that he received instructions from his client to withdraw the defamation suits against them.

The formal process to withdraw the suits will be taken up in the court when it resumes after the summer vacation, Champaneri said.Reliance Defence, RInfra and Reliance Aerostructure — part of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group — had earlier filed civil defamation suits against Congress leaders including Sunil Jakhar, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Shaktisinh Gohil.

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