The Anil Ambani Group has filed a Rs 5,000 crore ($780 million) defamation suit against senior Congress leader and spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, accusing him of making “false, defamatory and libellous statements”. This suit was filed on Friday afternoon in the Gujarat High Court. “We have filed a Rs. 5,000-crore suit for damages against him for making these false and defamatory statements,” the company was quoted as saying by IANS.
On November 30, Abhishek Singhvi while attacking the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had said that the BJP leader was “fooling” people by saying the government had not waived loans of big defaulters. He had alleged that the government had written off Rs 1.88 lakh crore debt of wilful defaulters. “We all know that top 50 corporates owe Rs. 8.35 lakh crore to banks and out of those, three top Gujarat-based companies — Reliance (Anil Ambani Group), Adani and Essar — owe Rs 3 lakh crore,” Singhvi had said.
He had charged that the Finance Minister, instead of declaring these liabilities as NPAs, was “trying to help the defaulter with further defence contracts like the Rafale deal”. Singhvi, without mentioning the name of Reliance had alleged that, “One of them had last month publicly declared that they are shutting their telecom business with a liability of Rs 45,000 crore due to banks.”
A Reliance Defence statement had earlier clarified the joint venture between Reliance Aerostructure Ltd and Dassault Aviation was a bilateral agreement between two private companies — and had nothing to do with the government. “Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd will be only one of the key players in the discharge of offset obligations. Over 500 large, medium and small Indian companies will benefit from the offsets which are nothing but an export obligation for goods and services from India. Offsets referred to are spread over a period of nearly 10 years,” the statement added.