(Judicial Quest News Network)
Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar approached the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to news portal The Wire to take down the defamatory article alleging link between Kumar’s son Karan Chauhan in a case relating to enhanced valuation of land,
The Wire had uploaded a report on November 9,2023, titled ‘Links of son of Delhi Chief Secretary to Beneficiaries’ Family in Land Over-Valuation Case Raise Questions’ in this report it is alleged that Chauhan and a family that received increased compensation for a 19-Acre-land in Delhi’s Bamnoli Village, acquired by NHAI for Dwarka Expressway.
Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri heard the matter Monday.
The court considered the arguments advanced by the senior counsel Maninder Singh and listed the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
Kumar had sent a legal notice to The Wire and Meetu Jain through Advocate Bani Dikshit on November,13 asking them to take down the Article within 48 hours.
The dispute began when southwest Delhi’s district magistrate Hemanth Kumar overturned a 2018 decision of the Additional DM of granting Rs. 41.52 crore for 19 Acres of Land in dispute based on a valuation of Rs. 53 Lakh Per Acre and instead awarded Rs.353 Crore compensation on May 15,2023, to the two individuals Subhash Chand Kathuria and his brother Vinod Kathoria. The article alleged that one of the beneficiaries 19 Acres land, Subhash Chand Kathuria was the father-in-law of Aman Sarin, promoter of a reality firm Anantraj Limited. Who had closed links with Karan Chauhan.
The Petitioner submitted that the article was social media platforms of Defendant Nos. 3 and 4 and other media, all of which libellous,
unfounded and misconceived, tainted with collateral objectives,
having been made knowingly and deliberately, calculated to harm
the dignity and reputation of the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff is constrained to file the present suit in light of the
‘ Utterly. disgraceful, malicious, false, misleading and defamatory
statements made, published and circulated against the Plaintiff,
which have caused inordinate corrosion of the reputation and
goodwill of the Plaintiff that has been built over a period of several
decades. The Plaintiff is a 1987-batch AGMUT cadre Indian
Administrative Services officer and at present, serving as the Chief
Secretary of GNCTD.
During the hearing on Monday, it was submitted that the article has had a cascading effect on social media and that the entire reporting was contrary to the record. “At the far end of my career, I have been made the scapegoat of something.
Following this publication, Kumar through Advocate Bani Dikshit, sent a legal notice to the “The Wire” and “Meetu Jain” on November 13 demanding the article’s removal.
Notably, Delhi’s vigilance minister, Atishi, submitted a preliminary report to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The report alleged that Kumar benefited from a Company associated with his son. Garnering 897 crore in profits. Atishi recommended a CBI investigation and the suspension of Kumar and Divisional Commissioner Ashwani Kumar to prevent any interference in probe.
The allegations included claims that Kumar’s son’s company secured an AI
Software project for ILBS Hospital without a tender, generating significant profits.
Recently, LG VK Saxena rejected the report seeking Kumar’s removal regarding the Bamnoli land acquisition case. Saxena Highlighted that the report was based on the minister’s preconceptions and might impede the ongoing investigation.