NDIB head sues C.N. Sharma for $25M
By George Barclay
January 15, 2004
CHAIRMAN/Chief Executive Officer, National Drainage and Irrigation Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Deo Sahai Naraine also known as Ravi Narine, is claiming $25M from Chandra Narine Sharma, of CNS Channel 6, for libel.
The writ, issued by attorneys-at-law, Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall and Ms. Deborah Kumar, was filed in the Supreme Court Registry yesterday.
The plaintiff is claiming:-
(1) Damages in excess of $25M for libel published and broadcast on the 5th and 8th January 2004, on television programmes ‘Voice of the People’ and ‘Rapping with the Public’ aired on CNS Channel 6 and repeated on divers occasions thereafter.
(2) Exemplary damages;
(3) An injunction restraining the defendant by himself, his servants/agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published the said libel upon the plaintiff.
(5) Such further or other reliefs as the Court may deem just.
The Statement of Claim stipulates, among other things, that the plaintiff is and was at all material times an engineer holding a number of academic qualifications.
The plaintiff is and was at all material times the Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Board, Ministry of Agriculture and has been functioning in the aforesaid capacity since the 2nd day of January 1996.
According to the plaintiff, the matters referred to in paragraphs 6 and 7 hereof bore and were understood as bearing the following meanings, which are the ordinary meanings thereof;
(i) That the plaintiff is corrupt;
(ii) That the plaintiff is guilty of financial impropriety;
(iii) That the plaintiff is incompetent as an engineer and in the capacity in which he functions;
(iv) That the plaintiff is a thief;
(v) That the plaintiff awards contracts and secretly profits therefrom.
The Statement of Claim further added, “The words spoken and published of the plaintiff were untrue.
The defendant has made the aforesaid publications on the 5th and 8th January, 2004 and on several occasions thereafter has shown published and broadcast the said video tapes of the said libel and has expressed the intention to continue to do so.
By reason of the said publication and broadcast the plaintiff has been seriously injured in his reputation and character and by way of his profession as well as in his capacity as a public officer and has been brought into public scandal, odium, ridicule and contempt and has suffered loss and damage.
The defendant is commanded that within ten days after the service of this writ on him, he should enter appearance.
In default, the plaintiff may proceed therein and judgment may be given against him in his absence.