Gautam Gambhir settles defamation suit with Punjab Kesari

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court recently disposed off former India cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir’s defamation lawsuit against Hindi daily Punjab Kesari seeking damages of Rs 2 crore, after the parties submitted that the matter has been settled between them.

On February 26, the court had referred Gambhir’s suit to mediation.

“Learned counsels for both parties submit that the matter has been settled between the parties. The settlement agreement dated 04.03.2024 has been recorded at the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre,” the court noted.

The lawsuit sought to prevent the newspaper and its reporters from publishing any allegedly defamatory content against Gambhir.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma disposed off Gambhir’s plea noting that both he and the newspaper have entered into the settlement out of their own free will without any undue influence or coercion.

“The settlement agreement has been taken on record. Both the parties are held bound by the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement,” the court noted.

The settlement agreement read: “The First Party (Gambhir) agrees to withdraw the present suit and the Second Party (Punjab Kesari) shall not object to the same.”

It further said that Gambhir agreed that his claim has been settled and he is left with no claim of whatsoever nature against the newspaper concerning the subject matter of the present dispute.

Earlier, Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai appearing for Gambhir had suggested that the dispute might be resolved amicably, prompting the court to explore mediation as a means to formalise the terms of any potential settlement.

Gambhir had filed a fresh application seeking to withdraw the lawsuit, citing the possibility of a friendly settlement between the involved parties.

Last year, the court had refused to pass any interim injunction order in favour of Gambhir.

Dehadrai had submitted before the court that the newspaper had been targeting Gambhir and that it was not the case of fair or objective reporting.

“The articles are deeply malicious. This is perhaps at the behest of someone else,” he had said.

Even though it has been held in various judgments that the opinions and views of the concerned person must be taken before publishing any article, Gambhir’s opinions were not sought by Punjab Kesari or its reporters, Dehadrai had argued.

Gambhir took legal action against the paper, its editor Aditya Chopra, and correspondents Amit Kumar and Imran Khan, alleging that they abused their journalistic freedom by publishing a series of malicious and defamatory articles specifically aimed at him.

He referred to several reports as evidence to support his claim that the paper “distorted” its stories in a “misleading” manner.

One of the reports even went as far as drawing a comparison between him and the mythical demon ‘Bhasmasur’, as argued in the lawsuit.


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