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Above: (Left) Anil Ambani and Abhishek Manu Singhvi  

In the world of defamation suits, finance minister Arun Jaitley’s two Rs 10 crore suits at the Delhi High Court against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (the former is also against some other members of the Aam Aadmi Party) was quickly dwarfed when BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against online news portal The Wire, for publishing a story on the meteoric rise of Jay Shah’s company. That suit was filed at the Metropolitan Court in Ahmedabad.

If that turned heads, then the recent defamation suit filed by the Reliance Anil Ambani group against Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi will make heads swing. The suit is of whopping Rs 5,000 crore, with Anil Ambani accusing Singhvi of making “false, defamatory and libellous statements”.

This suit has been filed in the Gujarat High Court.

The flashback recalls Singhvi’s November 30 comment against Jaitley, saying that the minister was “fooling” people by saying the government had not waived loans of big defaulters.

Singhvi alleged that the government had written off Rs 1.88 lakh crore debt of wilful defaulters. Getting more personal, Singhvi had said: “We all know that top 50 corporates owe Rs 8.35 lakh crore to banks.’’ Then he had gone and named three top Gujarat-based companies — Reliance (Anil Ambani Group), Adani and Essar. He said they, together, ‘‘owe Rs 3 lakh crore.”

Singhvi went even further, pinpointing the Reliance Anil Ambani group, saying that the government was “trying to help the defaulter with further defence contracts like the Rafale deal”.

Reliance has formed a joint venture between Reliance Aero-structure Ltd and Dassault Aviation.

This reference was possibly the last straw and Anil Ambani has struck back with this humongous suit.

—India Legal Bureau

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