Mumbai

Reliance files ₹1,000 cr. defamation suit against Sanjay Nirupam

Asks him to apologise within 72 hours; Cong. leader says he is yet to get notice

A day after Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam raised questions over the ‘pricey’ deal between Reliance Infrastructure Limited and Adani Transmission Limited, the former served a defamation notice for ₹1,000 crore on the Congress leader on Wednesday.

“Reliance Group is moving a contempt petition against Mr. Nirupam before the Bombay High Court. On April 3, he made several false, frivolous and baseless allegations, and defamatory statements, in relation to the proposed sale of Reliance Infrastructure’s integrated Mumbai power business to Adani Transmission Ltd., and linked the sale with the purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft by the government of India from France,” a press release issued by RInfra said.

Mr. Nirupam said though he has not received the notice, he welcomes the decision by RInfra. “Now let everything get discussed in the court, including the deal in question. Even the court can scrutinise the deal, which according to me is shady.”

RInfra on December 2017 announced the sale of its Mumbai power business to Adani at an estimated value of ₹18,000 crore. The deal is with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission for approval. If the deal goes through, it will ensure that RInfra becomes debt-free and has a cash surplus of ₹3,000 crore.

“In its valuation report by M/s SSPA & Co, submitted to the High Court last year, it valued the generation, transmission, distribution business of RInfra at ₹5,575 crore. Why is Adani paying RInfra ₹12,425 crore more than the valuation of its Mumbai power business? As per the data available, Adani power itself has a debt of ₹47,609 crore. Why is the company not repaying its loan and instead buying RInfra?” Mr. Nirupam had asked, claiming it would lead to hike in the power tariffs.

The Reliance Group has asked Mr. Nirupam to immediately withdraw and apologise for the statements within 72 hours from the receipt of the notice, and desist from making such statements concerning the company without ascertaining the facts.

“An order passed by the HC in suit no.113 of 2014, filed by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, is subsisting against Mr. Nirupam, which restrains him from making defamatory statements. Despite the orders, Mr. Nirupam has chosen to brazenly and in sheer contempt of the court make such irresponsible, false and defamatory statements,” the release said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 10:44:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/reliance-files-1000-cr-defamation-suit-against-sanjay-nirupam/article23437885.ece

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