Upset with an alleged vilification campaign launched against him by the Shiv Sena, State Revenue Minister and Congress leader Narayan Rane has filed a defamation suit in the Bombay High Court, seeking Rs 25 crore damages from the party’s mouthpiece Saamna, which called him a “goonda” and a “street fighter” in its articles.
Rane has sought interim relief from the court by seeking a direction to restrain the newspaper from publishing defamatory material or repeating the allegations levelled against him.
His plea will come up for hearing on January 23 before Justice Sharad Bobade. The defendants in the suit are Editor of Saamna and Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut and Printer-Publisher Subhash Desai.
Rane said the Sena and its mouthpiece had been targeting him since July 10, 2005, after he left the saffron party. He said his image was being lowered to harm the Congress’ prospects in the forthcoming civic elections.
Rane has filed a civil suit for now, but might choose to file a criminal case later, sources close to him said.
Reacting to the move, Raut told HT, “Yes, Rane has filed a suit and we shall face it. Saamna is already fighting more than 50 such cases and one more has been added to the list. We shall reply in the court. The matter is sub judice. I cannot comment on it.”