A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Delhi High Court, charging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of allegedly making “false and misleading statements” accusing the Union Government of waiving off loans for various industrialists during 2020-2021.
The petitioner, social worker and farmer Surjit Singh Yadav, in the PIL filed through advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, has also asked the court to direct news channels – News 24 and NDTV – to take down the two political leaders’ allegedly incorrect and misleading statements from their electronic media platforms and to Central Bureau of Investigation to file a complaint, launch an investigation and prosecute the two for making such statements intending to damage country’s image and credibility.
The PIL states: “That the Petitioner came across news items in electronic and print media where news related to waiving of loan to the tune of Rs 11 lakh crore had been broadcasted on NDTV in the year 2021.
“Similarly, News24 channel had published more than two years ago that loans of 50 loan defaulters have been waived off and that loan amount was to the tune of Rs 68, 000 crore which included the name of Mehul Choksi.”
“This may have negative repercussions for the nation like foreign investment getting affected, tourism getting hampered and promotion of anarchy in the nation.”
On how this downgrades the reputation of Centre, the petitioner has said that it is well known that as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI), write off is not same as waive off but writing off loans has been shown by Respondent no 2 to 5 as waiving off loans.
“This deliberate twist to the actual meaning of writing off loans by these politicians and media outlets had created confusion in the minds of readers/viewers including in the mind of the petitioner, ” Yadav claimed.
He claimed that in August last year, he served legal notices on Gandhi, Kejriwal and news organisations, requesting an apology and the removal of the offending material, but received no response.
The matter is likely to be listed on Wednesday.