Congress Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill on Wednesday received a cease and desist notice from businessman Anil Ambani-led group of companies asking him to restrain from speaking on the Rafale deal or face legal consequences.
The notice on behalf of the Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Defence and Reliance Aerostructure, stated that the Congress should stop spreading unverified, frivolous and defamatory statements on the deal.
“Such freedom of expression and speech should not be mistaken as a license to behave irresponsibly and make false, frivolous, misleading and distorted statements to suit your political interest. Political leaders should release statements based only on irrefutable evidence which have been gathered after due inquiry and verification from the concerned source,” read the notice.
“Making such false frivolous, misleading, sensational and derogatory statements have casted aspersions and have created a negative image/perception in the minds of the public and have resulted in defamation,” it added.
Taking names of other Congress leaders including Randeep Surjewala, Ashok Chavan, Sanjay Nirupam, Anugrah Narayan Singh, Oommen Chandy, Shaktisinh Gohil, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sunil Kumar Jakhar and Priyanka Chaturvedi, the notice said that they were also indulging in making “incorrect, false, frivolous statements”.
Accusing the Congress of running a “vilification campaign”, the notice read that it was being done at the behest of corporate rivals to “deliberately besmirch” the name and reputation of the company for “petty personal and political gains”.
The notice further said that it reserved the right to take legal recourse for the protection of their name, brand, reputation and goodwill in case of any “scurrilous statements” being made against them.
Reacting to the notice, Jaiveer Shergill took to his official Twitter handle and said that such notices do not scare him. “Received “Cease & Desist” Notice from Sh Anil Ambani threatening me with legal consequences if I speak on #RafaleDeal; My reply-I’m a Congress Soldier, a Proud Punjabi who doesn’t get scared with such notices-Tax Payer of this country deserves to know why they paid extra 42000 Cr,” he tweeted.
The notice comes a day after Ambani wrote a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale deal. Gandhi had earlier alleged that the cost of the fighter jet has escalated under the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.