News channel NDTV has been sued by Anil Ambani's Reliance for Rs 10,000 crore in an Ahmedabad court for the channel's coverage of the Rafale deal, CEO of the NDTV Group, Suparna Singh tweeted on October 18.
Calling this move a "brazen attempt at harassment and intimidation", Singh said the news channel will fight back.
An earlier report by NDTV stoked a controversy with the Opposition led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi accusing the Modi-led NDA government of corruption and crony capitalism.
The opposition has attacked the ruling BJP over the procurement of jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation under a Rs 58,000 crore deal.
The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal, saying the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government when it was negotiating a deal for procurement of 126 Rafale aircraft.
Further, under the deal's offset clause, Indian companies including Reliance will get contracts worth Rs 30,000 crore.
Reliance has denied all allegations of any wrongdoing on its part for any part of the deal.
Earlier on October 18, NDTV was issued a show cause notice by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for an alleged violation of the forex law amounting to over Rs 4,000 crore.
NDTV has put out a follow-on statement on the issue saying the news channel "reported all sides of the story including Dassault’s denial that it had been under any pressure to select Reliance".
"As the Rafale deal has become a larger news story in India, the Reliance group has been on a notice-serving spree; to sue a news company for 10,000 crores in a court in Gujarat on false and frivolous charges, ignoring facts that are widely reported everywhere and not just by NDTV, can only be interpreted as an unsophisticated warning to the media to stop doing its job," NDTV said in the statement they put out on their channel on October 19.
The news channel said it "outright rejects any charges of defamation and will present material in court to support its case."
The matter is listed for hearing on October 26.Note
: This article has been updated to incorporate the latest developments.