The gloves are well and truly coming off in New Delhi.
The marketing heavyweights, Hindustan Times and The Times of India, first joined hands to launch a tabloid Metro Now to preempt tabloid Mail Today. And then HT refused to run the ads of the new paper launched by the India Today group.
Now, Mail Today has carried a court story on Indu Jain, the bosswoman of the Times Group, and the mother of Sameer Jain and Vineet Jain, in today’s paper.
FORBES CAN NAME INDIA’S SECOND RICHEST WOMAN NOW
Delhi High Court has refused to restrain Forbes from publishing personal and financial details of Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd.’s chairman Indu Jain in its list of India’s 40 richest.
Indu Jain is the second richest woman in India. Her wealth is estimated at US $ 4.4 billion (Rs 17,307.4 crore), according to Forbes. But she did not want the magazine to publish this.
The October 12, 2007 court order came on an application seeking an injunction against Forbes Magazine. Bennett & Coleman, India’s biggest media house and publishers of The Times of India had moved court against the premier publication in November last year.
Though the court, in its interim order, had earlier restrained Forbes from naming her in its list, the order was revoked after hearing arguments on the application on merits. The suit filed by Bennett, Coleman against Forbes is pending before the High Court.
Mail Today called Jain’s office, but nobody was available for comment. The managing director’s office acknowledged the case, but refused comment.
The magazine ranks Jain 17th in its list and pegs her worth at $ 4.4 billion. The list has only one other woman richer than her—Savitri Jindal, who is worth $ 8.5 billion.
Jain’s contention was that Forbes had invaded her privacy by including her in its list. Forbes countered saying it had disseminated “legitimate news”. Only a few such as Jain of the privately-held Bennett, Coleman had reached billionaire status. She was a public figure and her wealth was not a private matter, Forbes argued.
Bennett, Coleman’s contention was that her financial worth was private and couldn’t be published without her consent. “Jain appeared in two previous Forbes rich lists—the 2005 list of India’s 40 richest and the 2006 global billionaires’ list. Each of these had included her net worth, her marital status and role as chairman of Bennett, Coleman,” Forbes said.
Her representatives, Forbes contended, had objected to her inclusion in these prior lists, but, nevertheless, supplied company information. Jain heads the Times Foundation and is known for her philanthropic work.
After months of hearings on the matter and legal submissions, the Delhi High Court issued a 147-page opinion.