Three Anil Ambani-owned companies have served a “cease and desist” notice on The Hindu against publishing “Unverified and Speculative” reports relating to the offset contract that was part of the Rafale deal.

The three companies are Reliance Infrastructure Ltd., Reliance Defence Ltd. and Reliance Aerostructure Ltd.

The notice dated August 2, 2018 served on The Hindu’s Editor, Mukund Padmanabhan, and its publisher, N Ravi, stated that the attention of the three companies had been drawn to news reports in the media that were “speculative, factually incorrect, and exhibiting lack of understanding in a section of the media”.

Served on behalf on their clients by Mulla & Mulla & Cragie Blunt & Caroe Advocates & Solicitors, the notice strongly urged the media “to avoid, cease and desist from carrying out any unverified and speculative reporting on such a sensitive subject relating to national security”.

It alleged that there was a “vilification campaign” being carried out against the companies “at the instance of corporate rivals and some political parties” to besmirch their reputation and prejudice the commercial interests of their shareholders.

The notice comes after the Congress alleged there were financial irregularities in the €7.87 billion Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between India and France. The party had also raised questions about the manner in which the companies were roped in as offset (export obligation) partners for the deal.