New Delhi: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group has decided to withdraw the Rs 5,000 crore civil defamation suits filed in an Ahmedabad court against Congress leaders and National Herald newspaper over their statements and an article on Rafale fighter jet deal.

PTI reported Reliance Group lawyer Rasesh Parikh as saying, “We have intimated the defendants that we are going to withdraw the suits against them.”

The lawyer representing the newspaper, P S Champaneri, said he was told by the Reliance Group’s counsel that he received instructions from his client to withdraw the defamation suits against them. The formal process to withdraw the suits will be taken up in the court when it resumes after the summer vacation, he said.

Reliance Defence, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Aerostructure– part of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group– had filed civil defamation suits against Congress leaders Sunil Jakhar, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Shaktisinh Gohil, and some journalists and news organisations like the National Herald.

Ambani had also sued National Herald’s editor Zafar Agha, and a reporter.

The complainants said that the defendants had made libellous and derogatory statements against the Reliance Group and Ambani over the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The petition against National Herald alleged that the newspaper had published a news story that “misleads the general public to believe that undue business favours are being extended to them by the government of the day.”

Seeking damages of Rs 5,000 crore, it had said that the story conveyed a “negative image” and “adversely affects the public perception” of Reliance Group and its chairman Ambani.

Among those served the notice was senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh. However, Singh had said he would continue to raise his voice against the Rafale deal “scam” and filed his submission before the court.

“I have no respect for those toying with the security of the country in the name of Bharat Mata. I will continue to raise my voice against this scam,” Singh had said. He had said that a defamation notice from Ambani and his companies was received by him for his views on Rafale deal “scam”.