Bengaluru: A Bengaluru court has directed former prime minister HD Deve Gowda to pay Rs 2 crore as damages to the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) for his "defamatory statement" against the company in a television interview 10 years ago.
What the case is all about?
The Eighth City Civil and Sessions Judge Mallanagouda found a basis in the plaint filed by the NICE, whose promoter and managing director is Ashok Kheny, a former Bidar South MLA.
Referring to the interview telecast by a Kannada news channel under the caption "Gowdara Garjane" on 28 June, 2011, the court directed Deve Gowda to pay damages of Rs 2 crore to the company for the loss of its reputation on account of defamatory comments made by him.
The JDS supremo's outburst was against the NICE project and he had called it a 'loot'.
Why did the court penalise Gowda?
The court observed that the project in question has been upheld by the High Court of Karnataka and the Supreme Court in their judgments.
The project undertaken by the company is a massive one that is in the larger interest of Karnataka, the court said in the 17 June order.
"Hence, if defamatory statements like the present one are allowed to be made in future, definitely, implementation of such a massive project like the present one, which is undertaken in the larger public interest of the State of Karnataka, is going to be delayed.
Therefore, this court feels that it is necessary to curb such statements by issuing a permanent injunction against the defendant," the court observed.
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