Published On: Thu, Apr 16th, 2020
Spotlight | ByIANS

Unusual, counter-productive, says Zaiwalla over action on book

New Delhi: London-based lawyer Sarosh Zaiwalla, reacting over a court order that has temporarily restrained him from selling his forthcoming book for allegedly containing defamatory statements against Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi and his family members, said “the allegation of libel is wholly ill-conceived, both as written words and in a factual context”.

Singhvi had filed a defamation case against Zaiwalla for allegedly linking his father LM Singhvi to Bofors case

Singhvi had filed a defamation case against Zaiwalla for allegedly linking his father LM Singhvi to Bofors case in the book titled “Honour Bound – Adventure of an Indian Lawyer in the English Court”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Zaiwalla said: “Abhishek Singhvi has obtained ex parte orders from the Delhi lower court without the legal imperative of giving notice of his intended application to me or my publishers, Harper Collins India.

“The allegation of libel is wholly ill-conceived, both as written words and in a factual context. I believe any fair-minded person reading the words he has complained of would come to the same conclusion,” he said.

The lawyer also said that the draft chapter relating to Singhvi’s complaint was sent to both the Indian High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner in London to confirm factual accuracy “since it referred to the time when the complainant’s father, LM Singhvi, graced that important post”.

“Unlike other Ambassadors and senior functionaries to whom I extended a similar courtesy, the Indian High Commission did not propose any corrections. They certainly would have if I had at all misrepresented the facts.”

“It is unusual, and counter-productive, for a person complaining of libel to himself bring to wider public notice the very words he finds libellous. In my view, a party who has a strong case fights fairly in court instead of continuing to rush to the press with adverse statements. I reiterate that my book. Honour Bound, is an honest account of what I believe to be the truth,” he added.

District Judge Sanjeev Jain of Patiala House Court in the national capital on Monday stated that a prima facie case is made out in favour of Singhvi and observed: “In the instant case, the reputation of the plaintiff is at stake. His reputation would suffer irreparable harm if injunctions prayed for is not granted as much as he would suffer further loss to his reputation.”

The court further directed Zaiwalla to restrain from making any unvaried unsubstantiated, and ex-factor defamatory statements against Singhvi and his family.

Similarly, other dependents, publishers and distributors of the book, have also been restrained from marketing or supplying the book to individuals and book vendors for reading or re-sale during the pendency of the suit till the next date of hearing.

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