Gunjan Aggarwal, wife of a city-based businessman, has slapped a legal notice on a Mumbai based tabloid Mumbai Mirror for publishing defamatory article against her on the pending proceedings of a case in the Bombay High Court faced by her and family.
In a legal notice sent through a law firm MZM Legal, Gunjan has asked the tabloid “Mumbai Mirror” to tender an apology for publishing defamatory matter against her, failing which she has threatened to file civil and criminal defamation cases in appropriate courts against the newspaper.
The tabloid had published the impugned article on April 23 alleging that Gunjan is facing contempt petition filed by Vardhman developers in the high court for allegedly settling a tenancy dispute of her Marine Drive flat in South Mumbai with a Maharashtra politician although a court had attached family properties of Gunjan’s family.
Vardhman Developers and Gunjan’s husband, Pujit Aggarwal of Orbit Corporation are locked in a legal battle in various courts for recovery of Rs 118 crore plus interest which is allegedly owed to Vardhman by Orbit.
Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court, hearing a contempt petition filed by Vardhman Developers on the issue, had recently directed Gunjan to file a reply to the contempt petition by June 11.
In the legal notice, the legal attorneys of Gunjan, while demanding an apology, said that the headline of the impugned article about Gunjan facing a contempt was itself defamatory. Moreover, Gunjan was not contacted for her comment on the issue. The article was allegedly one-sided, said the notice.
The Article’s sub-headline “Disregarding the injunction granted by the Bombay High court she allegedly settled a tenancy dispute with a state politician“ is prima facie “false”, said the notice. “Our client (Gunjan) has in no manner disregarded an injunction of the court and the allegation is baseless. Only a contempt petition has been filed against her. Therefore imputations against her in the article, under the word allegedly, pre-supposes a judicial process.”
The legal notice further said that though the impugned article in Mumbai Mirror talks about Gunjan, her husband’s photograph has been published and the imputation is clear that she is guilty . “We wish to state once more that the contempt petition is subjudice and no public interest will be served by imputing that she will be held guity of contempt and therefore sentenced”, the notice added.
The notice said “Gunjan was not an accused in any proceedings. She is in full compliance with the court orders as to garnishment. There has been a garnishee order and she was ordered not to create any third party rights on the Marine Drive flat which is the subject matter of the article. The issue before the small causes court was not the one that involved our client creating third party rights but was a settlement to pending litigation which was reopened on the instruction of the court and after the advise of the counsel.”
Gunjan shall also be approaching the Press Council of India.