In yet another development in the Rafale deal case, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group has filed a Rs. 5,000cr defamation case against the Congress-owned National Herald newspaper, claiming that an article published by the paper was "libellous and derogatory".
The move comes just days after Anil Ambani wrote to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, dismissing all his allegations of corruption around the Rafale deal.
The civil defamation suit against the National Herald publisher, Associated Journals Limited, was filed on Friday by Reliance Defence, Reliance Infrastructure, and Reliance Aerostructure, all part of Anil Ambani's Reliance Group.
The suit also named editor-in-charge Zafar Agha, and the author of the allegedly defamatory article, Vishwadeepak.
Notices have been sent, and the accused are expected to reply by September 7.
The lawsuit alleged that a National Herald article titled 'Anil Ambani floated Reliance Defence 10 days before Modi announced Rafale deal' has defamatory aspects as it "misleads the general public to believe that undue business favors are being extended to them by the government of the day".
Citing "considerable damage" to Reliance Group's and Ambani's goodwill, the lawsuit sought damages worth Rs. 5,000cr.
The suit comes at a time when Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has been leading a charge against what he claims was a suspicious deal for Rafale jets.
The Congress has repeatedly claimed that Rafale jets were purchased at an escalated cost from France, implying foul play and corruption.
Additionally, the party has also questioned the Reliance Group's involvement in the deal.
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