एनडीटीवी ने मधु किश्वर को भेजा मानहानि का नोटिस

एनडीटीवी न्यूज़ चैनल ने सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता मधु किश्वर को लीगल नोटिस भेजा है। एनडीटीवी का आरोप है कि मधु किश्वर ने इन्कमटैक्स कमिश्नर एस. के. श्रीवास्तव द्वारा उसपे लगाये गए झूठे और आधारहीन आरोपों पर अपनी वेबसाइट 'manushi.in' पर एक आर्टिकल 'NDTV & Chidambaram Accused of Money Laundering Scam of Rs. 5500 cr.' प्रकाशित किया है जिससे एनडीटीवी की मानहानि हुई है। मधु किश्वर ने आर्टिकल को प्रकाशित करने से पहले एनडीटीवी का पक्ष नहीं लिया।

एनडीटीवी का कहना है कि मधु किश्वर की ख़बर के एक मात्र सोर्स एस. के. श्रीवास्तव अदालत की अवमानना और अपनी महिला सहकर्मियों पर अश्लील कमेंट्स करने के दोषी हैं। इसी महीने के शुरू में दिल्ली हाई कोर्ट ने उनकी 15 दिन की जेल की सज़ा को बहाल रखा था। मधु किश्वर ने अपने आर्टिकल में इन दोनों महिलाओं के बारे में भी आपत्तिजनक कमेंट्स किये हैं।

एस. के. श्रीवास्तव द्वारा एनडीटीवी पे लगाये गए आरोपों को द्ल्ली की सीबीआई कोर्ट ने भी मानने से इंकार कर दिया था और श्रीवास्तव पर दस हज़ार रुपये का जुर्माना भी लगाया था।  

 

एनडीटीवी द्वारा भेजा गया लीगल नोटिस

REGD. A/D / SPEEDPOST AD

Without Prejudice

January 16, 2014

To,

1) The Manushi Trust
C 1/3, Sangam Estate
1 Under Hill Road
Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

2) The Trustees of Manushi Trust
C 1/3, Sangam Estate
1 Under Hill Road
Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

3) Manushi Sangathan
C 1/3, Sangam Estate
1 Under Hill Road
Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

4) The Members of Manushi Sangathan
C 1/3, Sangam Estate
1 Under Hill Road
Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

5) Ms Madhu Kishwar
C 1/3, Sangam Estate
1 Under Hill Road
Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

OUR CLIENT: NEW DELHI TELEVISION LIMITED PRIVATE LIMITED, A COMPANY REGISTERED UNDER THE COMPANIES ACT,

1956 HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT 207, OKHLA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, PHASE III, NEW DELHI, 100020.

REGARDING: PUBLICATION AND CIRCULATION OF A DEFAMATORY ARTICLE TITLED "NDTV & CHIDAMBARAM ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING SCAM OF RS. 5500 CR."

Dear Addressees,

Under instructions from and on behalf of Our Client above named we address you as under:

1. You Addressees have published and circulated the captioned scurrilous, defamatory and false article on your website Manushi.in, which you have further publicized and circulated through Twitter and YouTube.

2. The first tenet of journalism is to check with both sides. You Addressees have published accusationsbased on an anonymous "bundle of papers" – with no effort to check the facts or to contact the people you have viciously slandered. Your diatribe Addressees has been based entirely on the word of Mr. S.K. Srivastava and his lawyer. In fact despite the fact that the name of the 'recipient' was false to your knowledge, you Addressees went ahead with publication and circulation of the extremely defamatory material.

3. Had you Addressees taken the trouble to check with Our Client, it would have told you that Mr. Srivastava's charges are nothing new. These are completely bogus and laughably false claims that Mr. Srivastava and his associates have been making for years, which have repeatedly been dismissed by every authority who has examined them. That is the reason that no rational journalist has ever published these accusations in the past few years.

4. Just as an example, you Addressees mention that Mr. Srivastava made a "submission in the 2G scam case" where he made all these charges. What you Addressees mischievously don't mention is that the Learned Special Judge 'dismissed' his charges as "unsubstantiated, unwarranted and malicious". Mr. Saini, the Learned Judge, went on to say that to prevent such frivolous and mischievous applications, Mr Srivastava deserved to be fined, and he imposed a cost of Rs. 10,000.  Enclosed herewith as Annexure -1, for your reading pleasure, is the order dated 03.12.2011 as passed by the Learned Judge while dismissing the application preferred by Mr. Srivastava. This is something you Addressees could have easily obtained, had you wanted to. An excerpt from the order is  reproduced below: "…However, the allegations contained in the application, were not supported by any documentary proof. Accordingly, on his prayer the matter was listed for today as he sought time for placing documentary proof on record, Today also, he has submitted that he has enough evidence in his possession to substantiate the allegations of illegal receipt of money out of the 2G Spectrum Case and has submitted that he may be summoned as a witness in the case…There is no documentary or oral evidence on record that the alleged amount of Rs. 2000 crore is in anyway connected with the 2G Spectrum Case. The allegations, as such, are unsubstantiated, unwarranted and malicious, if I may say so. I had specifically asked the applicant on the last date of hearing if he was in possession of any document to show that the alleged amount of Rs. 2000 crore form part of illegal money obtained out of the 2G Spectrum case and he had conceded that he had no evidence in this regard, but sought time to bring such documents and he has failed to do so today also….Even otherwise, I have already gone through the entire record of 2G Spectrum Case and in view of the material on record and the submissions made by the applicant, I am of the opinion that the applicant would be of no help in the prosecution of the 2G case in any manner, if he is summoned as a witness…In view of the aforesaid reasons and to prevent recurrence of such frivolous and mischievous applications, all the four applications deserve to be dismissed with exemplary cost. However, as far as cost is concerned, I am inclined to take a little lenient view. Accordingly, all four applications are dismissed, subject to the cost of Rs.10,000/- to be deposited within seven days from today, failing a warrant of attachment shall issue."

5. Further you Addressees have also misrepresented and falsely reported Court proceedings. It was not Our client but the Hon'ble Delhi High Court (in another matter unrelated to Our Client) that ordered the mental health check up of Mr. Srivastava and that, too, on the request by the Counsel for Mr. Srivastava. Such kind of conduct of yours Addressees may also be contempt of Court. A Copy of the order dated 18.03.2013 is readily available on the Hon'ble High Court's website and a copy is enclosed herewith as Annexure -2 for your reference.

6. In addition, had you Addressees taken the trouble to check with anyone in the Income Tax department, you Addressees would have learnt that Mr Srivastava has a long and colourful history there, and has filed scores of complaints against his own colleagues. And if you had asked someone with even an iota of financial knowledge, they would have told you the accusations are, in any case, ludicrous — how can you allegedly "launder" 5000 crore rupees with no paper trail at all?

7. You Addressees No. 5 have yourself stated that "I was told by his lawyer that Srivastava is fighting more than 100 cases before civil &criminal courts right up to the Supreme Court of India against NDTV." Hence, knowing that there were sub-judice matters between Mr. Srivastava and Our Client, you Addressees did not bother to check with Our Client about the veracity of the allegations of Mr. Srivastava and have made allegations that interfere with the administration of justice.  

8. In fact, Our Client has sued Mr. Srivastava for damages for making such scandalous allegations before the Hon'ble Delhi High Court by means of a suit being CS (OS) No. 153 of 2012. The Hon'ble High Court has restrained Mr. Srivastava from publishing / circulating such allegation in the following terms:
"Till further orders, defendant is restrained from publishing/ circulating any defamatory material, internet publication and material as contained in the application dated 24th November 2011 filed before the Special Judge, New Delhi"
The applications mentioned above is the application filed by Mr. Srivastava before the Learned Trial Court at Patiala House that is trying the '2G Scam' case. Our client has also initiated appropriate proceedings before the Hon'ble Delhi High Court against Mr. Srivastava for continued disobedience of the injunction order reproduced above.

9. Our Client apart, what is truly appalling and disgusting is the slander you Addressees have published and circulated about two female employees of the Income Tax department. This is particularly shocking because you Addressees and in particular you Addressee No. 5 have often posed as a so-called feminist, whose website labels itself a "Forum for Women's Rights". Had you Addressees researched the matter, you would have found that these two women have been victims of lewd comments and sexual harassment by Mr. S.K. Srivastava, and who have fought a long battle in this regard, before being vindicated in Court. The Courts have repeatedly passed orders restraining Mr. Srivastava from using "sexually offensive and scurrilous" statements against his colleagues.

10. On January 4, 2013, the Hon'ble Delhi High Court ordered, inter alia, the arrest of your sole source Mr. S.K. Srivastava for 15 days for contempt of Court and for passing offensive comments on the women. In the order, which is enclosed herewith as Annexure-3, the Hon'ble High Court has held that "the approach of the respondent clearly reveals his skewed mind-set" and held that his (Mr. Srivastava's) remarks about his female colleagues were "uncivil and in poor taste, to say the least."

11. Less than a fortnight ago, on January 10, 2014, this order was upheld by a Learned Division Bench of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court. A copy of this judgment is enclosed herewith as Annexure-4.

12. The latest Delhi High Court order was widely reported online as a victory for women's rights. You Addressees could have no doubt easily spotted it, had you Addressees taken the trouble to do a simple Google search on the man on whose claims you Addressees have published your slanderous  and defamatory article.

13. By your irresponsible actions you Addressees have caused tremendous harm to the reputation of Our Client. This is not just in India, but also, inter alia, in every territory where your website and twitter comments have been seen. Our Client reserves the right to sue you Addressees in each of those territories.

14. Please treat this is a legal notice for defamation and slander. You Addressees have 24 hours to take down the offensive article and to post a full and complete apology for your illegal and irresponsible actions. Needless to mention that Our Client reserves its right to initiate any / all legal remedies available to it including for damages and the present communication is without prejudice to the rights and contentions available with Our Client. This communication should not, in any manner, be treated as Our Client waiving any of its rights.

Copy of this notice is retained for future and further action.

Yours sincerely,

Luthra & Luthra
Law Offices
Vijay K. Sondhi / Varun Pareek

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *