Chennai: N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and Group publications and Director of Kasturi & Sons Limited, has decided to launch defamatory proceedings, civil and criminal, against Archna Shukla, Senior Editor, The Indian Express, the Editor-in-Chief, Editors, and Publisher of The Indian Express and The Financial Express and others responsible for the publication of “highly defamatory material.” This relates to news stories published in The Indian Express and The Financial Express of March 25, 2010 purporting to be reports on Mr. Ram's role and actions in relation to developments within the newspaper group and the Company.

“These reports are riddled with demonstrable falsehoods and defamatory assertions, some of them attributed to unnamed sources, made with reckless and malicious disregard for the facts and the truth,” Mr. Ram said in a statement issued in Chennai on Thursday. “And this despite the professional courtesy I extended to the journalist and the newspapers by responding precisely and factually to five specific questions emailed to me on March 24 by Ms. Shukla.”

Mr. Ram said that the Board of Directors of Kasturi & Sons Limited, publishers of The Hindu, Business Line, Frontline, and Sportstar, took the following decisions in its meeting of March 20, 2010:

Mr. N. Murali has been re-designated Senior Managing Director of the Company and will have the responsibility and supervisory powers of the department of Circulation.

Mr. K. Balaji has been appointed Managing Director of the Company with effect from March 20, 2010.

Mr. N. Murali, Senior Managing Director, and Mr. K. Balaji, Managing Director, will have responsibility and supervisory powers of the department of Accounts.

Mr. N. Murali will share the responsibility of the Industrial Relations function with Mr. K. Balaji, Dr. Nalini Krishnan, and Mr. R. Ramesh.

Mr. K. Balaji, Managing Director, will have the responsibility and supervisory powers of the departments of Production and EDP. He will also handle all matters relating to the purchase of newsprint and other raw materials.

Dr. Nalini Krishnan and Ms. Vijaya Arun will have the responsibility and supervisory powers relating to General Administration, Employee Health and Welfare, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Mr. R. Ramesh will have the responsibility and supervisory powers of the department of Advertising.

Ms. Akila Iyengar will have the responsibility and supervisory powers for overseas business.

Ms. Lakshmi Srinath will have the responsibility and supervisory powers for Group events.

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