Himalaya Threatens Rs 1000-Cr Suit Against Sprouts Editor-In-Chief Unmesh Gujarathi For ‘Defamation’
The Bangalore-headquartered Himalaya Wellness Company has sent a legal notice threatening to sue the Editor-In-Chief of the Mumbai-based daily newspaper, Unmesh Gujarathi, for Rs 1000-crore, allegedly for defaming the company.
The legal threat which was recently couriered to Editor-In-Chief Unmesh Gujarathi’s office in Mumbai by Himalaya Wellness Company’s Head-Corporate Legal, Julie Buragohain, has also been signed by her.
Such a letter is an example of what media analysts and lawyers call “strategic lawsuits against public participation” or SLAPPs, which are used by private companies with very deep pockets, to legally harass as well as intimidate journalists and activists who try to expose the truth.
“The article written by Unmesh Gujarathi is baseless, incorrect and highly derogatory with a clear intent to malign the reputation of our company. His statement that our product causes cancer is denied and is contrary to established scientific data,” the legal notice from Himalaya Wellness Company has stated.
“You are called upon to remove this preposterous article from public domain including all social media with immediate effect on receipt of this mail notice. The approximate quantifiable loss of business and defamation to the brand is in the range of Rs 1000 crores (one thousand crores) and counting as the clock ticks,” the legal notice has stated.
“In the event you fail to do so, we will be constrained to initiate appropriate legal proceedings both civil and criminal, including seeking monetary damages against the writer and the publishing platform which shall be solely at your risk, cost and consequence,” the legal notice from Himalaya Wellness Company has stated.
The legal notice was sent by Himalaya Wellness Company in response to a news item written by Editor-In-Chief Unmesh Gujarathi in Sprouts daily newspaper recently, which had stated that Himalaya’s Neem Face Wash contains potentially cancer causing chemicals like phenoxyethanol which penetrate deep into the human skin, according to dermatologists.
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