The defamation lawsuit filed by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) against The Caravan magazine has been transferred from Silchar to Delhi High Court by the Supreme Court.
The Caravan magazine had filed a transfer petition in the Supreme Court on the grounds that except for one party to the suit all other parties are based in or around Delhi.
The magazine, in a release said that the matter came up for hearing on 8 August 2011 and the Supreme Court of India has issued notice to all other parties on its transfer petition and has stayed the proceedings at the civil court in Silchar.
The 500 million lawsuit was filed against The Caravan by one Kishorendu Gupta and the IIPM in response to the profile of Arindam Chaudhuri, IIPM’s Honorary Dean, published in the magazine in February, not in Delhi, where both the IIPM and the magazine’s publisher Delhi Press are based, but 2,200km away in Silchar, Assam, 300km from Guwahati, Assam’s capital.
IIPM had previously filed similar lawsuits against other publishers inexplicably from Silchar, though neither the publishers concerned nor IIPM are based in Silchar.
In 2005, the IIPM filed a case against Rashmi Bansal, a blogger and editor of Just Another Magazine (JAM), for pointing out that the IIPM had not been accredited by any Indian agency such as AICTE, UGC or under other state acts. The case was filed in Silchar even though she runs a small independent outfit based in Mumbai.
Likewise, in In 2009, Careers360 magazine, published by Maheshwar Peri, who is also the publisher of Outlook magazine, carried an article titled “IIPM - Best only in claims?” investigating the authenticity of many of the claims made by the IIPM in their advertisements. The magazine’s investigation revealed that the IIPM claimed that its students were eligible for MBA degrees from IMI, Belgium, but that NVAO, the accreditation organisation of Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium), did not recognise IMI. The IIPM, again, filed a case against the magazine and the publisher in Kamrup, Assam, and obtained ex-parte restraint against them, though the magazine's offices are located in Delhi.