JAMMU: A day after former legislator and Bhartiya Janta Party leader Vikram Randhawa leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations against Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, he has been served a legal notice to within 24 hours or face civil and criminal proceedings.
Jeevesh Nagrath, a counsel for the Minister, today sent a detailed legal notice to Randhawa via email and the whatsapp, a copy of which was circulated to the press.
On May 3, the former legislator had dragged the Union Minister into corruption charges while addressing a press conference on issues related to sand mining. He primarily accused the District Mineral Officer Jammu and then went to name an aide to Minister Dr Jitendra Singh accusing them of party to corruption. Hours later the District Minerals Officer clarified that Randhawa was leveling baseless allegations out of frustration as he has been served with penalty notice. By the end of the day Randhawa had also toned down his rhetoric as he told a social media channel that he got emotionally carried away.
Earlier today a Delhi based counsel for the Minister informed the press that he has served notice on Randhawa and asked him to support his allegations with proofs or tender a public apology within 24 hours. Randhawa has been given three things to comply within 24 hours or face criminal and civil suits including a defamation case of Rs one crore. He has been asked to “tender and issue an unconditional and unequivocal written apology clearly stating therein that all the allegations were without any basis; issue a statement the media informing them that the allegations were without any basis and publish apology in the news papers having circulation in Jammu and Delhi.
Following the full text of notice served on Vikram Singh Randhawa
Son of Mr. Choudhary Pyara Singh
Resident of 737-A, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu-180004.
Jammu and Kashmir.
Legal Notice demanding withdrawal of the wrong, false and defamatory allegations made by you against Hon’ble Minister Dr.Jitendra Singh and for tending unconditional apology for the same failing which legal proceedings for criminal defamation and for damages for Rs.1.00 crores will be initiated against you.
Under instructions from and for and on behalf of our client, Dr. Jitendra Singh, son of Late Sh. Rajinder Singh, resident of 4, Kushak Road, New Delhi (‘Our Client’), we state as under:
1. Our Client is a respected citizen of India and a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party and he has a spotless, unblemished and impeccable reputation, respect and standing in the society.
2. Our Client is at present duly elected Member of Parliament (MP) to the Lok Sabha from Udhampur. He was elected by the people to represent them in the Lok Sabha in the year 2014 and due to his hard work, dedication, spotless, unblemished and impeccable reputation and honesty he was once again elected as Member of Parliament (MP) to the Lok Sabha from Udhampur in the year 2019.
3. Our Client is also the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space.
4. Our Client was formerly a Professor of Diabetes and endocrinology in the Government Medical College, Jammu, and was a consultant, clinical practitioner. Our Client has also authored eight books and is an intellectual scholar. He has also been a newspaper columnist and Our Client’s popular weekly column ‘Tales of Travesty’ used to feature in the editorial page of the newspaper uninterruptedly for almost three decades until his election to the Lok Sabha in 2014.
5. Our Client is the ex-chairman for the National Scientific Committee Diabetes and Life Patron of the prestigious national body “Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India”.
6. Our Client has dedicated and devoted his life to public service and to the citizens of India including the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to serve them earlier as a doctor and now as their elected representative in Lok Sabha from Udhampur.
7. Our client has always been known for philanthropy. As a practising doctor, he held hundreds of free medical camps, treated poor patients of Diabetes free of cost and did charitable work among displaced Kashmiri Pandits and deprived sections of society.
8. Our client resigned from the lucrative and coveted post of Professor in Govt Medical College (which is a rarest of rare step) when he was called to take up the organisational work in public life as a political office-bearer. He resigned from his high profile government job at a time when in Jammu & Kashmir, even after retirement nobody joined the political party which he joined.
9. Our client also immediately gave up his roaring and flourishing private practice as a doctor, when he was asked to move to Delhi to take up his present assignment to serve the nation and citizens.
10. As a minister of science and technology, Our Client launched India’s first indigenously made research vessel named “Sindhu Sadhana” on 14.07.2014 from Mormugao harbour in Goa. During Our Client’s tenure as a minister of state in space and atomic energy, the fourth Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was launched by ISRO in April 2015 which would provide “navigation and communication facility to all the surrounding countries”.
11. Our Client introduced the use of satellite imaging for surveying and building roads and for “preparation of utilization certificates with fool-proof accuracy” when he was appointed Minister of State (Independent charge) in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
12. Our Client is a public figure having an impeccable and spotless reputation and image. Our Client is widely known and has earned immense goodwill through his service to the nation and people.
13. On 03.05.2021, you the above-named addressee held a press conference with various media, news channels, print media, journalists, etc. and in the said press conference you have made completely false, wrong and baseless allegations against Our Client. On 03.05.2021, you the above-named addressee have also given an interview on FB News wherein you have repeated the same false, wrong and baseless allegations against Our Client.
14. In the press-conference and also in the interview both of which were held by you on 03.05.2021, you have made false, wrong and baseless allegations against Our Client with malafide and ulterior motive to mischievously use the name of Our Client to blackmail government authorities to withdraw notices issued against you for your illegal and unauthorised activities and business.
15. From your said press conference and interview held on 03.04.2021 it appears that you the above-named addressee had received certain notices of demand for payment / penalty from Government Departments for recovery of amounts pursuant to proceedings pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir, which are sub-judice and in the wake of such notices, you had called the press conference and given the interviews as you were not able to get any support to stop those demands.
16. You the above-named addressee have made and published wrong, baseless and false allegations and imputations against Our Client, fully knowing and having reasons to believe that the same will tarnish and harm the image of Our Client. You have deliberately, malafide and maliciously defamed Our Client.
17. The wrong, baseless and false allegations and imputations made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client have been printed, published and reported in print media, digital/ electronic media, social media, etc. Your motive being, and you the above-named addressee knowing fully well that the same will cause harm to the reputation of Our Client and will have the illegal and malicious effect of lowering the esteem of Our Client in the estimation of others and thereby to defame Our Client.
18. Our Client has received several messages and calls from different places including from Delhi and Jammu inquiring about the wrong, baseless and false allegations and imputations made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client. Our Client has also noticed the totally disgraceful and dis-respectful comments, allegations and messages that are being posted against Our Client on digital media/ social media which are being read by everyone, and which are based on the wrong, baseless and false allegations that were made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client. Several persons including friends, relatives, associates, etc. of Our Client have after hearing, watching and reading the defamatory allegations made by you against Our Client made enquiries from Our Client with regards to the said defamatory allegations.
19. On account of the wrong, baseless and false allegations made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client years of hard work and service dedicated by Our Client and his reputation in the eyes of the public has been tarnished and lowered.
20. Our Client is neither the MP from the area, that is, Jammu constituency (in relation to which the dispute pertains) and nor is Our Client the Minister concerned with the department of Geology and Mining, which has issued the notices to you. Despite this, you the above-named addressee have made wrong, baseless and false allegations against Our Client. Furthermore, when the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir is seized of the issue for you to make these allegations against Our Client was nothing but an attempt to pressurize, threaten and overreach the judicial proceedings and to prevent the concerned officers of the State and public servants from discharging their public duties and function.
21. You the above-named addressee have defamed Our Client. You the above-named addressee have made and published highly damaging allegations and imputations against Our Client, intending to harm, and knowing that such imputation will harm, and have actually harmed and lowered the reputation of Our Client and have committed the offence of ‘DEFAMATION’ as defined under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which is punishable under Section 500 Indian Penal Code, 1860.
22. On behalf of Our Client, we hereby call upon you the above-named addressee to, within 24 hours from the date of receipt of this notice by you,
(i) tender and issue an unconditional and unequivocal written apology to Our Client clearly stating therein that all the allegations and /or any imputation and/or insinuation made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client and Our Client’s office in any interview, press conference, publication, social media, digital platform, etc. was without any basis and was not verified and /or factually correct and that all of them are withdrawn by you;
(ii) issue a statement to all the media and press channels including those who were present in the press- conference / interview held by you on 03.05.2021 or any other date and informing them that the allegations and /or any imputation and / or insinuation made by you the above-named addressee against Our Client and Our Client’s office in any interview, press conference, etc. was without any basis and was not verified and /or factually correct and that all of them are withdrawn by you; and
(iii) publish your apology to Our Client as mentioned above in the news papers/ print media having circulation in Jammu and Delhi.
23. Our Client has instructed us to put you the above named addressee to notice, which we hereby do, that in case you the above-named addressee fail/ neglect / refuse to comply with paragraph no. 22 above of this notice, then, Our Client shall initiate appropriate legal proceedings both criminal and civil including but not limited to those for defamation under Section 499 and for other offences under the India Penal Code, 1860 and also for damages for a sum of Rs.1.00 crore (Rupees One Crore only) against you the above-named addressee, needless to state at your sole risk as to cost and consequences.
24. This legal notice does not limit and is without prejudice to all the rights, remedies and contentions of Our Client against you the above-named addressee, all of which are hereby reserved.
Below is the video of Randhawa’s press conference