Khurshids take TV channel to court

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 09:16 hrs

Mumbai: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid's wife Louise Khurshid on Friday filed a defamation suit against a TV network for accusing her of embezzlement charges even as fresh reports on Saturday appeared to bolster the case against the Congress leader.

Seeking damages of Rs 100 crore, the lawsuit was filed against the TV Today group for airing the defamatory programme on its channels, Headlines Today and Aaj Tak, media reports said citing unnamed sources.

According to the TV network's report, Khurshids' Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust had been granted Rs 71.50 lakh by the union social welfare and empowerment ministry for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in Uttar Pradesh.

Forging signatures of senior officials in several districts of the state the NGO embezzled funds off the grants and deprived the physically challenged who were eligible for benefits under the scheme.

Both Salman Khurshid, who is the president of the Trust, and his wife -- the project director -- have vehemently denied any wrongdoing even as activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal lambasted the couple over the graft charges.

Meanwhile, a newspaper report on Saturday said a letter with the forged signature of a senior Uttar Pradesh government official was allegedly used to request the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to release the second tranche of funds for the Khurshids' trust.

The Trust reportedly received Rs 68 lakh after the letter, dated March 24, 2011, signed by a former special secretary of the Department of Disabled Welfare in Uttar Pradesh, assessed its work satisfactorily.

The officer in question, however, had retired from the UP government services in January 2011, nearly three months before the letter was sent and has now sent a letter to the UP government saying that his signature was forged, the report said.

More from Sify: