Businessman Vivek Doval, the son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, on Wednesday told a court in Delhi that The Caravan magazine and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh ran a “malicious campaign” to target his father by branding his family “anti-national”, PTI reported.
Vivek Doval filed the criminal complaint after the magazine, in an article titled “D-Companies” that was published on January 16, accused him of running a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven, even as his father advocated a crackdown on entities seeking shelter in such enclaves.
Citing trade documents, the magazine claimed that the fund was registered in the Cayman Islands just 13 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced the demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes on November 8, 2016. After the publication of the article, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh sought an investigation by the Reserve Bank of India into the hedge fund.
“My family was referred as D-companies whereas we all know that in our country the D-company refers to Dawood Ibrahim, who figures in the most wanted list,” Vivek Doval told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal. “Question was thus raised on me and my family, specially on my father, who has dedicated his life for the service of this country, also fighting against Dawood. The article branded me and my family as anti-nationals.”
Vivek Doval claimed that the article caused irreparable damage to his reputation and career, IANS reported. “I was a soft target but in fact it was my family, specially my father, who was the target of the malicious campaign,” he added.
The court listed the matter for hearing on February 11, when the statements of witnesses named by Vivek Doval – his friend Nikhil Kapoor and business partner Amit Sharma – will be recorded.
Earlier, Vivek Doval’s counsel DP Singh told the court that a hedge fund cannot be set up overnight, or in a matter of few days, and claimed that the title of the article itself was scandalous and intended to create prejudice in the minds of the readers against the complainant and his family.