PM CARES Fund: Cong IT Cell member faces defamation suit
Cong IT Cell member Saket Gokhale with Rahul Gandhi
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), an aerospace and defence Navratna company under Ministry of Defence has filed a defamation case against Congress IT cell member Saket Gokhale. Gokhale had made false accusations, alleging a ‘ventilator scam’ last year. He had alleged that a scam amounting to Rs 750 crore in the purchase of ventilators was procured using PM CARES Funds.
Refuting the allegations, the CMD of BEL MV Gowtama said that legal action should be initiated.
"BEL strongly deplores the circulation of unverified, fictitious reports and reserves the right to take necessary legal action in this regard," Gowtama tweeted. The account of Gowtama has not been verified by Twitter.
Gokhale went on to question the authenticity of the Twitter account of the CMD and challenged him to take a legal action against him saying “intimidation tactics won’t work on me”.
Now, BEL has filed a Rs 1 crore defamation suit against Gokhale who himself called for it. BEL had warned Gokhale earlier also for not spreading misinformation, however the latter didn’t pay heed to it and asserted that he is not scared of their legal actions.
Sharing the picture of the legal notice served by the BEL to him, Gokhale tweeted, “Here’s how intimidation works under the Modi govt: The Modi govt through the state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd. has filed a defamation suit of Rs 1 crore against me in Bangalore for the work I did on the PM CARES ventilators scam. Not matter what- the truth will always win :)”
Last year, Gokhale had claimed that the government was buying ventilators through the PM-CARES at high prices. He alleged that Skanray CV200 ventilators made by Skanray, a Mysore based company, was manufacturing for Philips India and these ventilators were being sold at a market price of Rs 2.5 lakh but the government was purchasing them at Rs 4 lakh through the PM-CARES
However, CMD BEL countering the allegations stated the facts that no ventilator model was manufactured by Philips. Rather he told that the ventilators have been developed by the support from DRDO. He also informed that the ventilators carry PM-CARES logo as they were purchased under the fund allocated for procuring ventilators.
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