The Andhra Pradesh government has filed a defamation suit against the ‘Eenadu’ management, who included the group’s Chairman Ch. Ramoji Rao, his son Ch. Kiron, daughter in-law Ch. Sailaja Kiron, the daily’s editor Nageswara Rao, and Bureau Chiefs of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, for allegedly publishing adverse news against the State government and the Crime Investigation Department (CID).
The government has alleged that the Eenadu group published “adverse, false, fabricated and threatening news” against the CID when the investigation agency is inquiring about the alleged illegal activities of Margadarsi Chit Fund Private Limited.
Addressing the media after filing the case at the Guntur Sessions Court on July 4 (Tuesday), P. Sudhakar Reddy, Additional Advocate General, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said that they named all these persons as accused in the case. He said they filed the case under IPC Sections 501, 502 read with 120 (B) and 109.
Mr. Sudhakar Reddy lashed out at the “false claims” allegedly published by the newspaper in the articles defaming the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and said that this would be dealt with in the court.
“The publication has been spreading false information about the CID investigation into the Margadarsi Chit Fund scam. The court has taken up the criminal defamation case,” he added.
He notified the court that the article, ‘Margadarsi Pai Kutra’,had no foundation whatsoever.
Mr. Sudhakar Reddy further said that the newspaper management and others were named as accused “for the widespread dissemination of false information.”
The practice of writing front page articles in the newspaper bitterly critical of the government had become a routine, he said. “This particular publication keeps circulating fake news based on exaggerated assertions and opinions. Why are newspapers portraying the story as a conspiracy, while the constitutional system has the power to look into matters like Margadarsi Chit Fund Pvt Ltd. We will shortly file another complaint on similar stories being filed by the paper,” he said.
Mr. Sudhakar Reddy said there were certain limitations on freedom of speech under Article 19 (1) of Constitution, and the Eenadu group crossed it.