The Delhi High recently shifted the criminal defamation case against The Caravan on Friday, 15th January, 2021 to Patiala House District Court. The petitioner in this case is Vivek Doval, son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and the respondent is The Caravan Magazine and others.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench consisting of Justice Mukta Gupta.
Earlier, the matter was heard by a Rouse Avenue District Court exclusively dealing with matters relating to lawmakers. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, one of the accused, on December 19, 2020, tendered an apology to Vivek Doval before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sachin Gupta marking the case to District Judge Rouse Avenue District Court for passing appropriate order as the matter now pertains between the private parties.
Background of the Case:
Vivek Doval had earlier filed a criminal complaint against The Caravan after an article in the said magazine claimed that he ran a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven.
Editor-in-Chief of The Caravan, Paresh Nath, reporter Kaushal Shroff were named in the complaint filed at the Patiala House Court. Jairam Ramesh, who sought an investigation by the Reserve Bank of India into the hedge fund, was also named.
The court had summoned them on March 2, 2020 after concluding that their allegations against Doval were prima facie defamatory.
The Caravan report, titled “D-Companies” which was published on January 16, had claimed that Vivek Doval ran the hedge fund even as his father advocated a crackdown on entities seeking shelter in such enclaves.
Trade documents accessed by the magazine showed that the fund was registered in the Cayman Islands just 13 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced the demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes on November 8, 2016. Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes ceased to be legal tender after the announcement, which pulled 86% of India’s currency out of circulation.