‘False, malicious, defamatory’: Mahua Moitra’s legal notice to Nishikant Dubey, 15 media houses

Also named in the notice are lawyer Jai Dehadrai, Google, YouTube and X.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra today sent a legal notice to 15 media organisations and a BJP MP for “false, malicious and per se defamatory allegations” made or transmitted by them.

The 15 news organisations are The Times of India, NDTV, Indian Express, India Today, Hindustan Times, Free Press Journal, ANI, Economic Times, Deccan Herald, The Statesman, Indian TV, The Wire, Livemint, DNA India and website The New Indian. The BJP MP is Nishikant Dubey.

Also named in the notice are Google, YouTube, X and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai.

Yesterday, Dubey complained to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that Moitra purportedly “took bribes” from a business house to “ask questions” in Parliament.

According to The Hindu, his letter to Birla said: “There is not an iota of doubt about a criminal conspiracy hatched by Mahua Moitra to protect the interests of a businessman – Shri Darshan Hiranandani – by asking Parliamentary Questions, which is reminiscent of the ‘Cash for Query’ episode of 12 December, 2005.”

A day later, the legal notice was sent by the law offices of Panag & Babu in New Delhi. 

It alleged that Dehadrai had a “personal vendetta” against Moitra, “reached out to several prominent journalists”, and “attempted to convince them to run stories based on wild, vindictive, fictitious and entirely imaginary allegations”. 

When journalists did not “participate”, Dehadrai then allegedly “issued a letter” to Dubey who, “without due diligence of any kind to establish the veracity of the allegations...regurgitated the false and defamatory allegations” to the Lok Sabha Speaker.

The 15 news organisations, Google, YouTube and X were accused of reporting or repeating these allegations, including news reports that said Dubey had written to Birla.

“The tweets, news reports and videos are replete with false and defamatory statements attempting to bring our client to disrepute,” said the legal notice, which included pages of screenshots of news reports and tweets. 

The notice demanded that Dubey and Dehradrai “withdraw the defamatory and false allegations” and “issue a written public apology”. 

The social media platforms and media houses were asked to “take immediate steps to take down/delete any posts, tweets, articles, videos or any other material (of any kind) published on their respective platforms in relation to the false and defamatory allegations made by [Dubey and Dehradrai] against our client”.

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