Television

Subhash Chandra files defamation case against Delhi CM

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NEW DELHI: Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Essel Group and Zee, has filed a criminal defamation case in a Delhi court last week against Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The plea, filed in Patiala House Court, said that while addressing a press conference on 11 November, 2016 --- four days after PM Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1000 notes to arrest the rising menace of black money --- Kejriwal made "false, fabricated and defamatory allegations" against Chandra alluding that he had amassed black money.

According to the complaint, the Delhi Chief Minister had "defamed the complainant (Chandra) by making inherently defamatory statements and caused serious harm to his reputation by imputing behaviour incompatible with proper conduct and suggestions of involvement in illegal activity."

Kejriwal had been slapped with a similar complaint in Delhi High Court by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who had said that allegations were made against him without any basis and which amounted to character assassination.“There are many decisions in life that you don’t want to take initially, but you’re left with no other option except that. Personally, I didn’t find any happiness in doing what I have done; in fact it pained me a lot,” in a Facebook post on Sunday Chandra said, adding, “I have had differences of opinion with him (Kejriwal) on numerous occasions but never have I stooped so low and passed any personal remarks on him.”

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Sometime back Chandra had created a stir in the media with his support to the government-imposed one-day ban on NDTV India news channel for breaching content code related to national security issues that was subsequently withdrawn. He has also openly favoured the government’s move on demonetisation --- criticised by many as an ill-thought and badly implemented move that has hobbled a large swathe of Indians --- saying in the long run the initiative would benefit the country.

Pointing out that he had supported the Delhi CM’s various initiatives, including the odd-even number formula to check vehicular pollution in Delhi area when many had ridiculed the move, Chandra said, “I was one amongst the few and the first to have appreciated his move. Not because of any ulterior motive like his, but for the interest of Delhi-ites. Was I having `black money’ even then?”

“What if I say that the Delhi CM had indulged in malpractices to win the Delhi election and he had taken bribe from the Congress Party to contest against Prime Minister Modi in Varanasi and he had paid and hired people to assault him in public and so on. I know all of this is false and so I will never question his integrity and make such personal and baseless remarks. Similarly, what gives him the right to do so?” quipped Chandra, a Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha or Upper House.

He further went on to ask: “Just because I run a news organization with which he (Kejriwal) is not in good terms or because I, like the whole nation, welcomed the Prime Minister’s demonetization masterstroke or because now I’ve been elected to the Rajya Sabha (public servant), gives him the right to hurl personal abuses?

“And if he or his social media warriors or other AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) cadres, who have always found some pleasure in abusing me, are reading this then I want to humbly tell them that kindly convey it to the Hon’ble Delhi CM who enjoys your support that I never have and never will take any attack on me lightly. It wasn’t an attack just on me but the 10,000 colleagues of mine and the billion hearts and lives that we have touched. Come what may, any further baseless and allegation and remark will be dealt under the provision of law, of which I am a firm believer, unlike the Honourable Chief Minister.”

Chandra’s parting advise to Kejriwal in Hindustani that translates into English as: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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