New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued notices to BJP MP Anurag Thakur, his brother and nine media houses in connection with news reports on the controversy relating to the link between an entrepreneur and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Industrialist V Chandrashekhar, CEO of Delhi-based Tarini Group of companies, having its project in the hill state, has sought restraint on Thakur, his brother and the media houses, from running "slanderous" news against the him and his company linking them with the chief minister.
Chandrashekhar and his companies, which deal in hydro- power sector, sought damages of Rs 3 crore from Thakur, his brother Arun Singh Dhumal, who is also Vice President of state cricket association, for news articles that accused them of making payments.
"Plaint be registered as a Suit. Issue summons in suit and notice of the application to the defendants. Defendant nos. 1 (Anurag) and 2 (Arun) accepts summons in suit and notice of the application through their counsel.
"Written statement/reply be filed by defendant nos. 1 and 2 within three weeks. Rejoinder/ reply be filed within two weeks thereafter. Summons in suit and notice of the application be now issued to defendant nos. 3 to 12 (media groups) ... Returnable for 3rd March....," Justice A K Pathak said in a recent order.
"Pass a decree of permanent injunction in favour of plaintiffs and against the defendants... Restraining them from sending, issuing, publishing, circulating, making per se defamatory...Through either print, electronic or cyber media or through any other media whatsoever regarding plaintiffs ...And causing interferences/loss of reputation and corporate goodwill of the plaintiffs," the petition said.
Besides seeking "unconditional" public apology, the plea has also sought withdrawal of "slanderous/libellous imputations made and available in public domain."
The plea has also sought "a decree of damages in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants resulting out of ...Defamatory torts to the tune of Rs 3 crore."
It alleged that Anurag Thakur, son of former CM P K Dhumal and an MP from Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency and his brother "in furtherance of their campaign of spite and malice have gone on to involve senior political leaders into accusing the plaintiffs collectively of charges of graft and bribery and other offences which plaintiff no. 1 never committed."