The Delhi high court has issued notices to Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur, his brother and nine media houses in connection with news reports on the controversy related to the link between an entrepreneur and Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
Industrialist V Chandrashekhar, chief executive officer (CEO) of Delhi-based Tarini Group of Companies, which has a project in the hill state, has sought that Thakur, his brother and the media houses be restrained from running "slanderous" news against him and his company, linking them with the CM.
Chandrashekhar and his companies, which deal in the hydro-power sector, sought damages of Rs 3 crore from Thakur and his brother Arun Singh Dhumal, who is also the vice-president of the state cricket association.
Justice AK Pathak said in a recent order, "Plaint be registered as a suit. Issue summons in suit and notice of the application to the defendants."
He said that the defendants should file a reply within three weeks, and the response should be filed within two weeks after that. The summons and notice should be returnable for March 3.
The petition had demanded that a decree of permanent injunction (refrain from certain activities permanently) in favour of Chandrashekhar and his companies be passed against Thakur and others, restraining them from sending, issuing, publishing, circulating or making defamatory material available through print, electronic, cyber media or any other media, and causing loss of reputation and corporate goodwill for them.
Besides seeking an "unconditional" public apology, the plea has also sought withdrawal of "slanderous or libellous imputations made and available in public domain". The plea has sought damages to the tune of Rs 3 crore.
The petition had alleged that Anurag Thakur, son of former CM PK Dhumal and an MP from Hamirpur constituency, and his brother , "in furtherance of their campaign of spite and malice, have gone on to involve senior political leaders in accusing the plaintiffs of charges of graft and bribery and other offences which was never committed."