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Pre-summoning arguments scheduled for Feb 22 in defamation case filed by NSA Ajit Doval’s son

A Delhi court, on Monday (February 11), recorded the statements of two business associates of Vivek Doval, son of National Security Advisor (NSA), in a defamation case filed against The Caravan magazine and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Vivek Doval had filed the defamation suit alleging that an article published by The Caravan magazine, and excerpts of which were widely circulated and quoted by Jairam Ramesh, was based on false information and put out with a mala fide intent. The article in question had alleged a trail of money laundering incidents linked with Vivek Doval and a hedge fund company, GNY Asia Fund, floated by him.

On Monday, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) at Delhi’s Patiala House Court recorded the statements of Vivek’s partner in GNY Asia Fund, Amit Sharma, and Nikhil Kapur.

In his statement, Sharma said: “I know Vivek Doval (complainant) since 2004 when we both were semiconductor analyst at different banks. I was at Deutsche Bank and Vivek was at Bear Stearn Bank. Since then we became friends and had been in regular contact. Later, Vivek and I discussed stock ideas very regularly and got along very well over the course of the next several years… In 2012, when Boyer Allen shut down, Vivek was looking for what to do next. This is when we came up with the idea of the launching of a fund together.”

Sharma and Vivek’s friend Nikhil Kapur both informed the court that the contents of the article published by The Caravan had caused them agony and that they wished the testify that the information published was false and mala fide. Vivek, who had recorded his statement before the court, on January 30, had made similar submissions, stating that charges made against him were “baseless and false” and references were made in “a demeaning manner” without trying to “ascertain the facts.”

“I was livid after reading the article published about me in a magazine and the manner in which the events were narrated. My family was referred to as D-Companies whereas we all know that in our country the D-Company refers to Dawood Ibrahim, a known criminal, who figures in the most wanted list,” Vivek had told the court.

Sharma told the court, on Monday, that Vivek’s brother, Shaurya Doval, had no business relation to the Fund. It may be recalled that Shaurya too has been embroiled in a separate controversy over his business and social ventures.

In his deposition before the court, Sharma claimed that he was not even aware of the professional stature of Vivek’s father until Ajit Doval was appointed the National Security Advisor by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “He (Vivek) made it very clear from the very beginning that his father or family background will not be used for any business purpose,” Sharma told the court, adding that “Vivek is a person of integrity, has a value system consistent to mine, and a thorough professional.”

“My professional career has been tarnished. Initially, I was very angry to know about the article and more so on the repercussion that it will have on my credentials and reputation in the market solely on account of our association with Vivek,” Sharma said.

After recording the statements by Vivek’s associates, the court posted the matter for February 22 for pre-summoning arguments.

—India Legal Bureau, with Agencies

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