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Delhi Court Temporarily Restrains Sarosh Zaiwalla From Making Unverified Statements Against Abhishek Singhvi, Restricts Further Reselling of the Book [Read Order]

Karan Tripathi
14 April 2020 11:30 AM GMT
Delhi Court Temporarily Restrains Sarosh Zaiwalla From Making Unverified Statements Against Abhishek Singhvi, Restricts Further Reselling of the Book [Read Order]
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Patiala House Court has temporarily restrained Sarosh Zaiwalla, Harper Collins, and their distributors and retailers, from making any unverified and unsubstantiated defamatory claims against Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

While passing such a restraining order, District Judge Sanjiv Jain has also restrained the defendants from selling it distributing the copies of the allegedly defamatory book and the newspaper article, till the pendency of the suit.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi has moved a plea before the Patiala House Court against the alleged defamatory statements made by Sarosh Zaiwalla in his new book.

Mr Singhvi has claimed permanent and mandatory injunction against Zaiwalla's book titled 'Honour Bound: Adventures of an Indian Lawyer in English Courts', claiming injury to his reputation in public.

The damage to reputation is also claimed against an article published in Times of India titled 'I Learnt From Bofors Never To Act In A Case Involving Internal Indian Politics, Says Sarosh Zaiwalla'.

In addition to permanent and mandatory injunction, the applicant has also sought an interim relief of restraining book's publisher Harper Collins, as well as the vendors, from marketing and selling the aforesaid book in India till the pendency of the suit.

'The insinuation that the plaintiff's deceased father unduly influenced a noted Arbitrator and Jurist Late Chief Justice RS Pathak (Retd) into passing an award in favour of the Republic of India in a matter where plaintiff was appearing as a counsel is ex facie defamatory to the plaintiff in as much as it unequivocally accuses his father of a criminal offence and insinuates that the plaintiff was himself complicit in it', the plaint states.

It is further submitted that the accusations made in the aforesaid Times of India article is evidently incorrect and has clearly hurt the sentiments and feelings of the Singhvi family.

The plaintiff has argued that the defendant has cited Mr Vir Singhvi as one of the sources behind the information published in the book. However, Mr Vir Singhvi has clearly denied having any such conversation with the defendant. This makes the plaintiff entitled to the declaration stating that the said information in the book is false.

It is further argued that the false nature of the claims made in the book is clear from the fact that the defendants never approached the Singhvi family to seek a clarification on such claims; especially when both Retd Chief Justice RS Pathak and Mr Kuldeep Nayar are not alive to defend the libelous allegations made against them.

'These statements have been raked up after 3 decades to link the name of the plaintiff with the Bofors case', the plaintiff argues.

In light of the same, the court has issued summons for the settlement of issues as well as notice to all the defendants which shall be delivered as per modes permissible under Delhi High Court rules and orders.

While passing the order, the court noted that:

'In the instant case, the reputation of the plaintiff is at stake. His reputation would suffer an irreparable harm if injunctions are prayed for are not granted as much as he would suffer further loss to his reputation. A prima facie case is made out in favour of the plaintiff.'

The plaintiff in the present case was represented by Mr Vijay Aggarwal, Mr Naman Joshi and Mr Bavin Kapila

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