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ITC, Deveshwar file Rs 550 cr suit against ABP, its editor Sarkar
BS Bureau in Kolkata | May 01, 2004 11:06 IST
ITC Ltd and its chairman Yogesh Chandra Deveshwar have filed a Rs 550 crore (Rs 5.5 billion) damage suit against ABP Ltd and its editor Aveek Sarkar in the Calcutta high court.
The suit was filed last week. The writ of summon will be issued to Sarkar, ABP Ltd and its printer publisher.
ABP managing director A Lahiri said the company would not like to comment on the issue as the matter was sub-judice. "It will be dealt with by the legal department," he added.
The suit claimed a decree of Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) as damage for ITC Ltd and Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) for Deveshwar.
The suit sought an injunction restraining ABP Ltd from publishing any news item relating to the company and its chairman, which affect the goodwill and business reputation of ITC.
It was stated in the plaint of the suit that on April 10, 2004, ABP Ltd's English newspaper, The Telegraph, published an article relating to ITC and its chairman which lowered the dignity and reputation of the two.
The article was published under the headlines "Smoke gets in his Eyes". Khaitan and Company filed the suit on behalf of both ITC and its chairman.
The suit alleged that April 10 news article not only damaged the image of ITC in the eyes of general public at large but created confusion among shareholders of ITC.
Being the largest tobacco manufacturing company in India, ITC held an important position in the economy of the country, but the news item tried to lower the position of the company, the suit alleged.The chairman of ITC has a reputed place in society and the April 10 story hampered his reputation, the plaint added.