A few days ago, pointing out that Madras high court had stayed the Singapore proceedings in October 2013 and that vacating the interim order now might seriously prejudice Swamy, justice R S Ramanathan rejected a petition filed by Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited and made the interim stay granted last year absolute.
The matter relates to Swamy's press conference in New Delhi on April 26, 2012. During the meet, he had commented on the alleged irregularities in the spectrum allocation and the Aircel-Maxis deal. Taking exception to the allegations, Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited issued a legal notice to him. Later, its Singapore subsidiary of the same name initiated the impugned defamation proceedings in the Singapore high court. Swamy filed a contempt of court petition in the Supreme Court saying he could not be dragged to courts for having filed 2G-related cases in the apex court. The petition was dismissed on September 10, 2013. The high court of Singapore issued notices to him saying hearing has been fixed for October 23, 24 and 29.
On October 10, 2013, however, Madras high court stayed the proceedings. Now, Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited has come to the court seeking to vacate the interim order.
Justice R S Ramanathan, rejecting the company's plea recently, pointed out that the Chennai-based Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited, whose Singapore subsidiary has moved the court there, could have filed defamation suit in India itself. The company has its office in Chennai, within the jurisdiction of the high court, and the publication of the news was made in New Delhi, the judge said, adding: "Therefore, the company could have very well filed the suit for defamation in India. By filing the suit in Singapore, it may be with an intention to arm-twist Swamy from proceeding further in his action of unearthing the scams. I do not find any reason to vacate the order of injunction."'
" If injunction is not granted, serious prejudice would be caused to Swamy, as he would be forced to prosecute the case filed against him before the high court of Singapore. On the other hand, by the grant of injunction in favour of Swamy, no prejudice would be caused to the company," observed justice Ramanathan.
The company had questioned the jurisdiction of the Madras high court to entertain the plea, and said Swamy's petition was vitiated on the ground of laches, as the defamation suit in Singapore was filed 12 months before Swamy's petition. Also, by writing to the registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore to postpone the scheduled hearings in the Singapore court, Swamy had submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Having done so, the present suit and injunction application filed by Swamy him before Madras high court does not have a leg to stand on."
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