Mumbai’s former Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh – who was suspended just a fortnight prior to his retirement – on Wednesday unconditionally withdrew his libel suit of Rs 90 lakh against Republic TV Chief Editor Arnab Goswami and his company ARG Outlier.
Permitting Singh to withdraw his suit, the Mumbai city civil court also imposed an cost of Rs 1,500 payable to Goswami, who had to engage a lawyer to defend himself.
Singh, who retired in June 2022, had filed the defamation suit in 2021 seeking Rs 90 lakh plus annual interest of 12 per cent from Goswami for allegedly defaming him and portraying him in a bad light.
Challenging it, Goswami’s legal team questioned the maintainability of the suit as Singh – who shot into limelight after exposing the sensational TRP scam in 2020 – was no longer the Mumbai police chief, and raised other points.
On Wednesday, Singh filed an application to withdraw the suit without any conditions, which was allowed and a token cost imposed.
Goswami’s lawyers informed that the court that there was no out-of-court settlement and it was (Singh’s) decision to withdraw it and they had no objections, and even demanded costs for the “immense torture” Goswami had undergone.
Noting that the plaintiff didn’t want to pursue the matter and sought to unconditionally withdraw the suit, the court allowed the same and asked Singh to pay up Rs 1,500 to Goswami.
Singh – who has family connections with a senior BJP leader from Nagpur – came under a cloud after a SUV laded with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note to industrial tycoon Mukesh Ambani and his family was recovered near their iconic home Antilia on February 25, 2020, sparking off a national-international furore.
However, later he fell from grace with the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government after he hurled “hearsay” allegations of corruption and misuse of office against the then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is currently in jail since past 13 months in cases lodged by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation.