The Delhi High Court on Friday held news magazine Tehelka, its former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal and former reporters Aniruddha Bahal and Mathew Samuel guilty of having defamed a senior Army official in 2001, Bar and Bench reported.

The court ordered them to pay Rs 2 crore in damages to the official, Major General MS Ahluwalia.

The article published by Tehelka pertained to alleged corruption in deals pertaining to the import of new defence equipment. Bahal and Samuel had claimed that they had worked on the report undercover, and presented themselves as being part of a fictitious defence equipment company based in London.

The article had alleged that Ahluwalia had demanded Rs 10 lakh and a bottle of Blue Label whiskey as a bribe. It further alleged that the officer had accepted a token bribe of Rs 50,000.

In the defamation suit, Ahluwalia said that he was not involved in the importing of defence equipment, and had never held such a post, according to PTI. He said that Samuel himself, in his deposition before an Army Court of Inquiry, said that the officer had not demanded any money, nor was it paid to him.