The war of words between Reliance Jio and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has taken a different angle as the former dragged the latter into the court for making defamatory statements against it, PTI reported.
As per the report, Justice Yogesh Khanna issued a notice to industry body and its director general Rajan S Mathews on a suit filed by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd seeking to prevent and restrain them from continuing to make "maliciously false, disparaging and defamatory statements" against it, saying a prima facie case is made out.
While Mathews and the counsel of the COAI argued that the comments did not fall under the purview of defamation.
However, Justice denied this statement and said: "I doubt whether the phrases/words used ... would fall within the phrase of fair comment and hence the plaintiff (Jio) has been able to make out a prima facie case and thus the defendants (COAI and Mathews) to file written statement/ reply to application ... in four weeks," report added.
Meanwhile, ET reported that Mathews again denied making any defamatory remarks against Jio and said: "Disappointed that one of our member companies has chosen to bring legal action against the association and its director general, alleging defamation, arising from the use of language in communication."
The latest issue comes after when this year in February Reliance Jio has issued a defamation notice to COAI for stating that the TRAI has favored Jio in its tariff related policies.
The COAI had denied these charges and said: "The statement was issued in good faith in furtherance of our duty as an industry association inter alia to call attention to regulatory decisions that are detrimental to the growth and development of the telecom sector,"
COAI further said: "Merely because Reliance Jio (RJIL) happens to disagree with the position that the COAI has taken in the Press Release, does not and cannot imply, as your captioned notice has sought to, that the COAI harbours any malicious intentions against RJIL."
It also accused Jio of attempting to malign the reputation of COAI every time the association took a stand which the company did not agree with.