Journalism

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group sues NDTV for 10,000 Cr for ‘coverage of Rafale fighter jet deal’

News channel NDTV has been sued for Rs 10,000 crore by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group. The lawsuit has been filed in an Ahmedabad court over the channel’s coverage of the Rafale fighter jet deal, NDTV said in a statement on Thursday.

The defamation lawsuit was filed after an episode of NDTV’s weekly show Truth vs Hypethat aired on September 29.

NDTV has maintained that  the top executives of Reliance ignored “repeated, multiple and written requests to appear on the show or comment on what is being widely discussed not just in India but in France as well – whether Anil Ambani’s Reliance was transparently chosen as the partner for Dassault in a deal that saw India buying 36 fighter jets”.

An earlier report by NDTV stoked a controversy with the Opposition led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi accusing the Modi-led NDA government of corruption and crony capitalism.

Congress has attacked the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) over the procurement of jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation under a Rs 58,000 crore deal.

The channel clarified its role by stating that the show aired days after Francois Hollande — who was the President of France when the deal was struck — questioned the role of Reliance Defence.

They claimed that the show reported all sides of the story including Dassault’s denial that it had been under any pressure to select Reliance Defence.

“The panellists, in a balanced discussion, examined whether issues like Reliance’s vast debt and record in defence manufacturing made it a suitable choice for Dassault in India,” the statement reads.

The channel further added that the lawsuit was “an unsophisticated warning to the media to stop doing its job,” and that the channel would continue to indulge in journalism that “uncovers the truth.”

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