The Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) has been served a defamation notice by the Adani Group for a story on how the government tweaked rules for special economic zones which led to the Adani Group reaping a profit of Rs 500 crore.
The story was about the frequent tweaking of rules relating to power projects located in special economic zones, which allowed Adani Power claims to customs duty refunds for the said amount.
The magazine had carried the story in its June issue. The report said officials in the ministry of finance (including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) and the ministry of industry and commerce (including Minister of State Nirmala Sitharaman) did not respond to detailed questionnaires sent by EPW. The Adani Group is headed by Gautam Adani, who is said to be a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Though EPW questioned the government’s action, the Centre didn’t send the notice, instead, it has been issued by an Adani Group company.
Speaking to Newslaundry, EPW Editor Paranjoy Guha Thakurta verified the news and said his organisation has already replied to the notice.
In the EPW reply, Supreme Court advocate Chandrachur Bhattacharyya said the Adani notices dated June 24 and July 5, 2017 were malafide and intent on harassing and intimidating EPW. The advocate said every averment made in the articles is not only truthful but is also backed up by documentary evidence in EPW’s possession.
The EPW story can be read here.