New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue court on Thursday granted bail to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on a personal bond and surety of ₹20,000 each in a criminal defamation case filed by Vivek Doval, son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The next date of hearing is 27 May.
In April, Ramesh was exempted from making a personal appearance in the court, but was directed to be present on 9 May.
Vivek Doval had filed the defamation suit after The Caravan magazine published an article which alleged that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s sons run a web of companies, including a Cayman Islands hedge fund to round-trip black money in the time of demonetization, even as their father demands a crackdown on tax havens. He had then filed case against Ramesh saying that the Congress leader had run a “malicious campaign" against the Doval family.
Ramesh appeared in the court today and pleaded not guilty, saying “It was completely non-defamatory. It was based on the material in the public domain. And it was done in the public interest. We are public personalities and it is our duties to raise issues on which many questions arise. The press conference wasn’t personal and was completely professional. It was to raise questions for the public."
The Caravan’s editor-in-chief Paresh Nath and journalist Kaushal Shroff also pleaded not guilty.
On the last date of hearing, the court had granted bail to Nath and Shroff.