Jet Airways and its founder-chairman Naresh Goyal have filed a civil defamation suit seeking thousands of crores in damages against senior investigative journalist Josy Joseph after he wrote about the alleged links between gangster Dawood Ibrahim and the airline company in a book published earlier this year. A lawyer representing Joseph confirmed that they had received notices of defamation for details published in Joseph’s first book ‘A Feast of Vultures’ published by HarperCollins.
After being contacted, advocate Uttam Datt, who is representing Joseph in the case, said they were “most definitely” contesting the case in the court. “Two defamation suits seeking Rs 1,000 crore in damages have been filed in the Bombay High Court by Jet Airways and Mr. Naresh Goyal – one against Joseph and HarperCollins, and the other against Outlook India for publishing the extract. They are scared the allegations will hurt their reputation. But we stand by the story; we have documented proof for every claim made in the book. We have evidence to defend ourselves,” he said.
In an interview in August 2016, Joseph had said that he was ready for any kind of litigation. “I think it would be a great fight to have,” he had said. “I must have collected thousands of pages of documents in the course of my research over the last decade…my book has been legally vetted a couple of times.”
Joseph, in the book, writes that in December 2001, Intelligence Bureau chief KP Singh and Joint Director Anjan Ghosh had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs stating that the agency had “confirmed information of intermittent contact between Naresh Goyal and underworld dons, Chotta Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim, to settle financial issues”.