In another significant development in the controversies related to the solar scam, Benny Behanan MLA sent a defamation notice against K Surendran, BJP state general secretary, alleging that Surendran caused considerable damage to the reputation of the MLA by raising a baseless allegation that Behanan had influenced Fenny Balakrishnan, counsel for Saritha Nair, into not revealing “certain names” involved in the controversy.
Behanan has demanded compensation of `50 lakhs and “an unconditional public apology in all the print and visual media” to avoid further legal action in the matter.
The notice issued by the legal firm Raju Joseph Associates categorically states that if Surendran fails to pay the above said amount to Behanan and publish the unconditional apology as aforesaid within fifteen days from the date of the receipt of the notice, Behanan will be forced to take legal action in the matter by appropriate proceedings in the competent courts. It alleges that Surendran had actively participated in the media discussions related to the controversy and tried his best to convince the public that Behanan and K Babu, Minister for Excise, had offered Fenny a sum of `4 crore for preventing Saritha from revealing the names of certain leaders. “The said allegation was published through Asianet TV channel, and was taken up by other TV channels also”, the notice pointed out.