We reported exclusively yesterday that Robert Vadra, son in law of Sonia Gandhi had served Arnab Goswami with a legal notice for Republic TV’s newsbreak that spoke about the ‘Vadra papers’. The news aired by Republic TV discussed Income Tax documents which said that Robert Vadra was to cough up Rs. 25 crores on undisclosed income of Rs 42.6 crores.
OpIndia has now accessed the legal notice that was sent to Arnab Goswami through our sources. As we reported earlier, the legal notice has been sent to Arnab Goswami and Prema Sridevi. The legal notice has been tendered on behalf of Robert Vadra and Sky Light Hospitality.
The notice said that Arnab’s show made “wild and false statements” and cast “aspersions on the integrity of the client (Robert Vadra)”. Some of the statements made by Arnab Goswami are mentioned in the notice. They are as follows :
1. “Dirtiest form of nepotism, the lowest form of corruption and highest form of opportunism”
2. “Robert Vadra is above the law”
3. “Robert Vadra is a symbol of everything that is rotten that existed”
4. “Robert Vadra is a symbol of everything rotten that has set in the system”
Robert Vadra has accused Arnab Goswami of maliciously and deliberately trying to “lower the image of Robert Vadra in front of the public at large”. He calls the broadcast where Republic TV revealed that they were in possession of IT Documents that prove Vadra has disclosed on 36 Lakhs as income and the undisclosed income amounted to Rs. 42 crores as a “selective leak”.
Interestingly, going further in the notice, Vadra drags in even the Income Tax Department in the discourse. The Notice says that Arnab Goswami and the Income Tax Department suppressed the fact that the sale of land was duly declared and capital gain tax paid.
It contends that the demand of tax is 15 crores and not 25 crores as alleged, and that too is “disputed” by Vadra. It goes on to say that Income Tax proceedings are supposed to be confidential and should not have been made public without the consent of Robert Vadra.
Vadra then proceeds to make an extremely tall claim. He alleged that Arnab Goswami got the documents from either the Income Tax Department and government officials “under the orders of and to please the current political masters”. It is indeed shocking that such juvenile language would be used in an official legal notice.
The notice then “called upon” Arnab Goswami to disclose how he got the income tax papers (essentially, reveal his sources) and whether they got full information from the department or not. It also accuses Goswami of being “hand in gloves” with the government departments in order to “tarnish the image” of Robert Vadra. Apparently, the report has lowered Vadra’s stature in front of the public and his family at large.
The notice reiterated, “The entire tone, tenor and phraseology of your broadcast are misleading and are laden premeditated and deliberate fatal misstatements and inaccuracies”. How the statements made by Arnab Goswami were “fatal” in nature, has not been elucidated specifically, of course.
We reached out to Arnab Goswami for his statement on the contents of the legal notice and whether he wanted to say anything to Mr Vadra regarding the notice.
Mr Goswami said :
“Robert is scared. He looks like he is frightened about facts coming out in the public domain. He should come on my debate at 9 pm instead of wasting his large amounts of money on lawyers. The income tax order is with us and reporting it is our right. If he wants to take on Republic and try and stop us from reporting on him he is welcome to try his luck. I think he is worried that our reports will thwart his political ambitions”.
Mr Goswami clearly stands by his report and refuses to back down. He has also asked Robert Vadra to come on his debate at 9 PM instead of wasting money on lawyers.
Robert Vadra is, of course, not going to accept the offer to debate. However, the next few days promise to be extremely interesting with an “Arnab vs Robert” fight brewing and Arnab, who by design and perhaps by habit, doesn’t pull back any punches.