New Delhi, June 3: The Delhi High Court today sought response from corporate lobbyist Niira Radia on an application seeking vacation of stay on the release and circulation of the book ‘Close Encounters with Niira Radia' authored by advocate R K Anand.
Justice V K Jain issued notice to Radia, Director of Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, seeking her response within four weeks, on an application filed by the publisher, Har-Anand Publications Pvt Ltd pressing for vacation of stay on the circulation of the book.
The court also advanced the hearing on the issue to July 14 from July 22 on the plea of Anand who was appearing for the publisher.
Meanwhile, Anand also told the court that the book has been released and is on the stands since May 7. The court had on May 25 stayed the release and circulation of the book authored by Anand on his alleged association as a lawyer with the corporate lobbyist who was representing a UK-based firm in a case in India. Justice Jain had granted an “ex-parte” injunction on the release of the book on a defamation suit filed by Radia. Besides seeking a ban on the release of the book, Radia had also sought Rs one crore as damages alleging Anand and the publisher have attempted to defame her by revealing “privileged communications” between a lawyer and a client.
Anand, who once appeared in a court for Air UK Leasing Limited, then represented by Radia, has allegedly bared all details regarding his communications with the lobbyist.
“What is further astonishing is that the book unabashedly contains information and documents which enjoy absolute privilege and protection from third party disclosure under the applicable laws having been conveyed to Anand in his capacity as an advocate for Air UK Leasing Limited,” the petition said.
Anand was engaged by the UK-based firm to appear in a court as the company got involved in a legal battle with Modiluft.
The UK-based aviation firm had leased aircraft to Modiluft and the dispute arose on the issue of returning of aircraft in October, 1996, on expiry of the deed. The book contains Anand's observations, based on his interactions with Radia who used to meet him regarding the court case, the petition said adding such information cannot be published as they are “privileged” ones. Anand had accused Radia of engineering the sting operation against him relating to the BMW hit-and-run case, which led to his conviction for the contempt of court.
The operation had brought out Anand's collusion with prosecution lawyer I U Khan to botch up the trial in which hotelier Sanjeev Nanda was an accused. PTI