NEW DELHI: Two witnesses recorded their statements in a Delhi court on Monday in support of a defamation plea filed by NSA Ajit Doval's son Vivek Doval against a magazine for an alleged defamatory article and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh for using that content.
Vivek's friend Nikhil Kapur and business partner Amit Sharma recorded their statements in support of the criminal defamation complaint against 'The Caravan'.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal posted the matter for further hearing on February 22.
On January 30, Vivek had recorded his statement before the court, saying all the allegations levelled by the magazine and later repeated by Ramesh at a press conference were "baseless" and "false" and damaged his reputation in the eyes of family members and professional colleagues.
Sharma said in his statement that there was a huge unrest among investors after the article was published.
He said the investors have been insistent that Vivek step down as they apprehend that he will be a "continued target" due to his family background.
Sharma rejected the allegations made by the article that Vivek' business was linked to his elder brother Shaurya Doval's business.
"Even Vivek's brother Shaurya runs his business of investment but there is no financial interest between our companies. The statement by The Caravan that say that 'Vivek Doval's overseas ventures are inexplicably linked to businesses run by his elder brother Shaurya Doval in Asia' is absolutely incorrect and mala fide," Sharma said.
He also said that many of the prospective investors have backed out after the article was published. "A number of prospective investors have backed out or have shown reluctance to make investments in the fund."
He further said, "I would like to highlight that money laundering in the West is a very big crime. Even an accusation of such nature Whether true or not causes irreparable damage. Any impression of being involved in illegal activities has disastrous consequences".
Sharma said though he is not mentioned in the article but it was his defamation as well.
"Though I am not mentioned in the article and there are no allegations against me but this is my defamation as well," said Sharma.
Kapur, a Pune-based businessman and Vivek's classmate said in his statement that the article was a "copy paste" job and there was no merit in what was published.
"Without doubt, Vivek is not involved in any of the things that has been published, Kapur said.
Vivek in his complaint had said that the magazine and Ramesh had attempted to "deliberately malign and defame" him to "settle scores with his father".
The Caravan in its January 16 online write-up titled 'The D Companies' had said that Vivek Doval, "runs a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands" which is "an established tax haven" and was "registered merely 13 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government demonetised all existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, in 2016".
According to the complaint, Ramesh had held a press conference on January 17 reiterating the "baseless and unfounded facts" as narrated in the article.