In January, a Gujarat court had issued an arrest warrant against Thakurta.
Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta has moved an application for a permanent exemption from personal appearance in court in connection with a criminal defamation case filed against him by the Adani Group. The application will be heard on March 8.
The case is being heard before a district court in Gujarat's Kutch. In a statement, Thakurta's lawyer Anand Yagnik noted that the court said "that unless there is an order from a superior court in an application for transfer of trial or quashing of the complaint, the accused [Thakurta] has given an undertaking that he will remain present in the court".
On January 19, the court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Thakurta in the defamation suit.
The case dates back to June 2017, when Thakurta was editor of the Economic and Political Weekly. He had co-written a piece on how the Modi government's tweaking of SEZ rules had "benefited" the Adani Group by Rs 500 crore. In January that year, he had co-written another report on the Adani Group, headlined “Did Adani Group Evade Rs 1,000 Crore in Taxes?”.
Though the reports questioned the government’s actions, it was the Adani Group which sent a legal notice to EPW and filed a defamation suit against the authors alleging that their reports were defamatory and harmful to its reputation.
Read Newslaundry's detailed report on the case here.