SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has filed a Rs 50 crore defamation suit against an Indian newspaper for “deliberately carrying a false news story against him with a bad intention to cause harm to his esteem, dignity and reputation in general public.”
Geelani, through his counsel, issued a legal notice to ‘The Times of India’ (ToI) “for a frivolous and fictitious story published by the newspaper against him.”
The legal notice accuses the newspaper of deliberately trying to “defame him.”
In a statement, Hurriyat(G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar said the newspaper in its March 14, 20014, edition published a “mischievous and baseless report” about Geelani with an attempt “to cause harm to his esteem, dignity and reputation.”
“The legal notice has been slapped on The Times of India, it’s general editor, editor and its reporter in Jammu and Kashmir, Saleem Pandith, through a prominent lawyer M S Reshi,” Akbar said.
Reshi has said that his client was a “well- known personality in the Asian sub-continent, a towering and respectable leader of Jammu and Kashmir ….. representing the sentiments of majority of people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The legal notice has challenged the ‘mischievous and baseless report’ published in the newspaper which claimed “Geelani had nominated his son as his successor, which has disappointed the hardcore section of the party”.
“We will take every possible step to bring them in the court of law for what they have done to harm the image of Geelani,” the spokesman said.
The notice also contests the newspaper’s claim that when Geelani was leaving to New Delhi for treatment, “he was driven to the tarmac and taken towards the aircraft on a wheel chair but the 83 year old climbed up the stairs of the plane without support”.