The Congress has served a legal notice to a Chennai-based newspaper for its “brazenly desperate attempt to fuel a controversy and malign” party general secretary Rahul Gandhi at the time of elections by questioning his M.Phil degree from Cambridge University.
The article — Rahul Gandhi, spin doctor — was published in The New Indian Express and carried on its website, expressbuzz.com, on April 11. The party said the newspaper had succeeded in defaming Rahul, 38, at the time of elections which had caused him “grave and irreparable harm”.
“Deeply distressed by your wild allegations, sly insinuations and self-serving innuendos, all premised on complete falsehoods and steeped in malice, a legal notice is being issued,” read the notice, copies of which were released to the media by party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
A copy of the letter of Professor Alison Richard, vice-chancellor of University of Cambridge, was attached to the notice. The letter said Rahul was a student of the university as a member of Trinity College from October 1994 to July 1995 and was awarded an M. Phil in Development Studies in 1995.
In fact, Rahul had told mediapersons at Kochi on April 13 that he would serve a legal notice to the newspaper.
“Instead of verifying anything from our client, you wrote the subject article falsely, recklessly and with complete disregard for truth, alleging that our client did not complete his degree,” read the notice settled by Singhvi himself. Singhvi practices in the Supreme Court. It accused the newspaper of bias against Rahul and his family.
“Our client is concerned with the systematic attempts that you have been making to defame him and his family from time to time by false, malicious, scurrilous and defamatory personal allegations. There is a systematic pattern to your devious agenda,” the notice said, demanding an apology from the newspaper.