A Delhi court Friday reserved its order on whether to summon Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, The Caravan magazine and its reporter as accused in a defamation plea filed by NSA Ajit Doval's son Vivek against the magazine. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said it will pass the order on March 2 on whether to summon them as accused in the plea. Vivek, in his complaint, had said the magazine and Ramesh had attempted to "deliberately malign and defame" him to "settle scores with his father". The Caravan had alleged that Vivek Doval, "runs a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands" which is "an established tax haven".
According to the complaint, Ramesh had held a press conference on January 17 reiterating the "baseless and unfounded facts" as narrated in the article. On February 11, two witnesses had given court statements in support of the defamation complaint, saying the published article, and subsequent use of its content by Ramesh, had resulted in huge unrest among investors of Vivek's firm. Nikhil Kapur, Vivek's friend and his business partner Amit Sharma had recorded their statements before the court saying the allegations levelled in the article were false, including the one which said that Vivek's business was linked to his elder brother Shaurya Doval.
On January 30, Vivek had recorded his statement before the court, saying all allegations levelled by the magazine and later repeated by Ramesh at a press conference were "baseless" and "false" and damaged his reputation in the eyes of family members and professional colleagues. According to the complaint filed by him, the contents of the article present "no illegality" on his part, but the entire narration has been presented in a manner, which suggests "wrongdoings" to readers.
With regard to Ramesh, the complaint said the press conference addressed by him went "beyond the mere narration in the article" and that he was already geared and armed to launch an attack, "merely waiting for the publication of the article", which could then provide a "smokescreen to the otherwise targeted and deliberate attack on the reputation of the complainant and his family".
The complaint said the article has been used as a political tool to "foster in unscrupulous hands" to "seek vendetta and wreak vengeance". It also said that the very act of setting up and launching of a hedge fund, whether in the Cayman Islands or any other place in the world, is not by itself an illegal and unlawful act.