New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday served a legal notice to leading daily Times of India demanding an "unqualified apology" for its report on her official accommodation.
"My client calls upon your esteemed publication to tender an unqualified apology and publish the contents of this letter in its entirety with the same prominence and display as you have done to the patently false and malicious captioned news article. This letter is being sent without prejudice to any rights and contentions of my client and nothing contained herein should be considered an admission of any fact or a waiver of any of the rights and remedies of my client," said a letter from lawyer Aman Panwar addressed to Editor-in-Chief Jaideep Bose, among others.
It said the journalist "appears to have completely lost sight of the incontrovertible facts in her eagerness to publish a sensational but false and defamatory story in a hasty fashion".
"The entire tone, tenor and phraseology of your news article are misleading and are laden with premeditated fatal misstatements or inaccuracies," it claimed.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday had said that the rent for her government accommodation was the "same as others in her category" and she was asked to occupy the premises "on security grounds".
A release issued by her office had said the special licence fee decided by the government has been regularly paid by her for the entire duration of her occupation.
The release came after the news report said Priyanka got the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to reduce the rent of her house from Rs.53,421 a month to Rs.8,888. The report cited a reply given to a Right to Information (RTI) query.
The newspaper report said she wrote to the government in May 2002 that Rs.53,421 was "too high" an amount and "beyond her paying capacity". It said she informed the government that she had been occupying the bungalow on the request of the SPG, which occupied a large part of the bungalow.
It said that, at present, Priyanka pays Rs.31,000 for her Type VI government accommodation.