The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) has filed a Rs 50 crore defamation suit against The Caravan magazine, its proprietors Delhi Press, author Siddhartha Deb, the publishing house Penguin Books India, and Google India.
At issue is a February 2011 article, titled “Sweet Smell of Success: How Arindam Chaudhuri Made a Fortune Off the Aspirations – and Insecurities – of India’s Middle Classes," and excerpted from an upcoming book by Siddhartha Deb to be published by Penguin. The piece takes a critical look at director Arindam Chaudhuri, his image and the business practices of the IIPM. (The article has since been pulled from publication due to a court order)
The lawsuit accuses The Caravan and others of "grave harassment and injury," while charging Google of “publishing, distributing, giving coverage, circulating, blogging the defamatory, libelous and slanderous articles.” It has been filed not in Delhi – where the magazine is published – but in the Court of Civil Judge in Silchar, Assam. IIPM is the second plaintiff named in the suit, the first being a Kishorendu Gupta, who operates Gupta Electrical Engineers in Silchar.
Caravan has issued a lengthy press release citing IIPM's history of suing various media publications in order to silence critical coverage. The publication also claims that Deb's article was based on "exhaustive reporting included interviews with Arindam Chaudhuri himself and several of his close associates who spoke openly about the IIPM and its critics, coverage of Chaudhuri’s public functions, and an account of considerable time spent on the IIPM campus."
You can read their press release below. (Hit the fullscreen button at the footer to magnify)