Puri’s wife, Lakshmi, in no mood to spare Congress activist for libellous tweets

24th June 2021

24th June 2021

Lakshmi and Union minister Hardeep Puri

Former Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s wife Lakshmi M Puri has served a legal notice asking Congress activist Saket Gokhale to apologise for his series of tweets which she claimed were libellous and posted to cause reputational damage to her.

Gokhale took to Twitter and alleged that Puri bought a house worth $2.5 million in Switzerland, for which they did not have enough legitimate sources of income. Gokhale then donned a mathematician’s hat and concluded that the Puris could not have afforded the downpayment of CHF 5,40,000 (Rs. 4.3 crores) of that house purchased in 2006 as he claimed that the annual income of Lakshmi M Puri would have been around Rs 10-12 lakh per year.

However, Lakshmi Puri who was in no mood to spare Gokhale, and informed Gokhale that while posted at UN, she was getting a tax-free salary as per UN scale, not as per IFS scale. Therefore, she was getting over US $200,000 per year, which translates to around Rs 1.5 crore at the current exchange rate. 

She said, “Get your facts right, Saket Gokhale & there is no ‘mystery’. I was an International Civil Servant from 2002 to Feb ‘18. Drew a tax free UN salary of over US $200,000 annually when I bought the apartment in Geneva.” She further added, “All facts declared to concerned authorities. Prepare to be sued.”

The legal notice sent by Puri through her lawyer and Karanjawala & Co. Managing Director Raian Karanjawala seeks immediate removal of these tweets. 

"You have in a series of tweets issued today stated factually incorrect and libellous information about my client, Smt. Lakshmi Puri. The tweets are maliciously motivated, laced with canards and entail deliberate twisting of facts in order to cause reputational damage and irrevocable harm," the notice read

"You are hereby directed to immediately apologise, remove the tweets and give an undertaking that you will not resort to such slanderous behaviour ever in the future. Your failure to do so would result in proceedings against you for civil and criminal action and punitive damages for defamation and injury," the legal notice added. 

Lakshmi Puri is currently working as a commentator on National and International Affairs. She has also served as ambassador of India to Hungary and accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

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