The Adani Group will withdraw both civil and criminal cases filed against The Wire, the news agency reported. “We will issue a statement once this process attains finality,” founder-editor of the news portal Siddharth Varadarajan told IANS.
The group had filed a civil defamation complaint against The Wire for an article it published in June 2017. The article, authored by former Economic and Political Weekly editor Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, claimed the Centre had amended Special Economic Zone rules to facilitate duty reimbursements for raw materials to Adani Power Limited, leading to a benefit of Rs 500 crores. It alleged the company had falsely claimed this reimbursement without actually paying the duty in the first place.
The piece was published in the journal on June 14, 2017, but later removed following notices from the Adani Group. The Wire published the article on June 19 that year.
In April 2018, an Ahmedabad court issued summons to The Wire for an article it published in November 2017. The summons were issued based on a criminal defamation petition the Adani Group filed against the news website.
In its petition, the Adani Group alleged that the article titled “Does it make economic sense for IOC and GAIL to invest in Adani’s LNG terminals?” was published “with the sole intention of harming the reputation” of the Adani Power Maharashtra Limited and to create “cheap publicity”.
However, in July 2018, a Gujarat court set aside the criminal defamation plea. Additional Sessions judge NR Joshi said that the summoning order passed by a magistrate against The Wire and others “lacked any cogent reasoning”.
On Tuesday, businessman Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group had decided to withdraw Rs 5,000 crore civil defamation suits filed against Congress leaders and the party’s mouthpiece, National Herald, for statements and an article on the Rafale fighter jet deal. Reliance Group spokesperson Daljeet Singh said the Congress seemed to have made the allegations only for political purposes.