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IOA chief slaps Batra Rs 10 crore defamation notice

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association chief N Ramachandran has slapped a defamation notice on Narinder Batra, demanding Rs 10 crore for allegedly damaging his reputation by his bribery allegations even as the Hockey India President dared the IOA boss to sue him in a court of law.

Batra had alleged that during the IOA elections last year, he was offered by Ramachandran, through another person, Rs 1 crore every year he remains as president in return for supporting his candidacy. Calling the allegations made by Batra as "false and malicious", Ramachandran has demanded Rs 10 crore in damages
to be paid within 15 days along with an unconditional apology withdrawing the remarks or else he will take legal action under relevant laws.

"The said remarks are false, malicious and calculated to lower our client in the estimation of the right thinking members of society generally and specifically in the eyes of the members of the IOA, the IOC and amongst the sporting fraternity and administrators," Harishankar Mani, Ramachandran's lawyer, wrote in his legal notice to Batra.

"By releasing your defamatory comments to the Press you have further aggravated your tortuous conduct by disseminating the same far and wide. "Should you fail to do as above demanded ... my client will take recourse to such legal action against you under Civil and Criminal law as he may be advised," Mani said.

When contacted for his reaction, Batra said he is not going to accept the demands made by Ramachandran and dared him to file a case in a court. "I am happy if Ramachandran has sent the notice to me. My lawyers will reply to it but in no case I am going to accept his demands. I will tell him to file a case in a court and let
us see there," Batra told PTI.

"I have audio and video recordings to support my claim and if he files a case, all these evidence will reach the court. I had wanted these to be produced before the IOA Ethics Commission but now these can be in the public domain (by producing at the court)," he added.

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