RIBHU RANJAN | 22 JANUARY, 2019
Sessions court hearing fixed for January 30
NEW DELHI: Vivek Doval, son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, has filed a ‘criminal defamation’ complaint in the Patiala House sessions court here against the Caravan magazine and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, for their articles and statements linking the growth of his business with the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 currency notes in November 2016.
At the time of writing a bench at the Patiala House court has taken cognisance of the complaint and will hear the matter on January 30.
The complaint filed by lawyers of the younger Doval states, “Through calculated insinuations and innuendos raised by way of published articles and press conferences, the accused persons have raised unfounded and baseless allegations against and have caused irreparable damage to his reputation and goodwill that he had earned for himself over years of hard work.”
It complains that the Caravan article “has been used as a political tool to foster in unscrupulous hands to seek vendetta and wreak vengeance… the accused has purposely and with malafide intent, scripted the article in a manner that the average reader will perceive the facts narrated therein, only in a certain tainted colour.”
The complaint was filed under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code for prosecution of criminal defamation.
The Caravan report in question, which is headlined “The D Companies: Ajit Doval’s sons run a web of companies including a Cayman Islands hedge fund even as father demands crackdown on tax havens”, was published on January 16.
It claims that a hedge fund connected with Doval’s sons was registered in the Cayman Islands just 13 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced the demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes on November 8, 2016.
The report also establishes links between Vivek Doval’s business and businesses run by his brother Shaurya Doval, a Bharatiya Janata Party politician who heads the India Foundation, a think tank that enjoys close proximity to the Modi government.
The day after the Caravan article was published, Jairam Ramesh held a press conference seeking an investigation by the Reserve Bank of India into Vivek Doval’s hedge fund. Ramesh reportedly said, “Opening funds there is not illegal, but questions must be raised on how, as per RBI data from 2000-17, India received Rs 8,300 crore FDI from the Cayman Islands, but post demonetisation, India received approximately the same amount in just one year alone.”
The Citizen tried to contact Vivek Doval, Jairam Ramesh and Kaushal Shroff for their statements. They could not be reached at the time of publication.