The hearing in the defamation suit brought by Vivek Doval against Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, The Caravan, and journalist Kaushal Shroff is currently underway at the Patiala House Court..Vivek Doval, the son of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, has claimed that intent of the article titled ‘The D Companies’ published in The Caravan and mentioned in a press conference by Ramesh was to run a “malicious campaign” against his family..The matter is being heard by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal. Doval is represented by Advocate DP Singh..Live updates of today’s hearing follow..Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to assembles to hear Vivek Doval’s defamation case against The Caravan and Jairam Ramesh.Court to record Vivek Doval’s Examination-in-Chief. Doval administrated oath by the Court.What really disturbed me was the title of the article “The D Companies” – Doval.Doval begins by detailing his citizenship status, educational qualification and professional standing. “I am a UK citizen and I am a very proud overseas citizen of India.”I have filed this complaint for redressal of a number of allegations, innuendoes and insinuations which have been used to destroy my family’s hard earned reputation, Doval.I was on a work trip to Doha, Qatar on January 16 when I got a call from my brother that a story in The Caravan magazine making false and misleading allegations had broken out, Doval.I was shocked how random facts, incorrect facts, insinuations, innuendoes had been pieced together to give an exceptionally misleading picture about myself and my family – Doval.A press conference had been organised by Jairam Ramesh making similar misleading innuendos and inferences – Doval.The Indian National Congress website also carried the interview and its transcript – Doval.I have also witnessed a lot of disparaging and insulting remarks against me and my family on YouTube as a reaction to the video of the Press conference – Doval.My life and career have been built on years of hard work. I have only relied on my own abilities to reach wherever I have. What is critical to me as a fund manager is my reputation and these utterances would create a permanent mark on my character as an investment professional – Doval.My father (Ajit Doval) is my hero…when I came back to Delhi, I was confronted by my father on the veracity of these utterances. I broke down. I felt helpless – DovalProbably the most eye catching was the photograph of me, my father and brother Shaurya Doval with the title ‘The D Companies’ – Doval.This was particularly noticeable because the D Companies in India is referred to Dawood Companies, whose protagonist is an international terrorist – Doval.The inferences are that the registration of my hedge fund 13 days after demonetization are connected to each other or that I had advance knowledge of demonetization – Doval.The article in a very systematic way creates inferences and innuendoes which make readers think that Vivek Doval and family are involved in illegal activities such as money laundering, round tripping of capital, violating financial regulation and connections to foreign royal families – DovalThe article also suggests that Doval and family are involved in untaxed black money and international terrorism, Doval adds.It puts a blot on my career and professional standing for years to come. Very sadly, these inferences suggest that someone like my father who has spent his entire life fighting enemies of this country allowed his son to pursue such illegal activities – Doval.The press conference was extremely defamatory. I respect journalists and the press. But I didn’t know much about The Caravan magazine prior to the article – Doval.The press conference of Jairam Ramesh, an ex-Union Minister and a highly educated man, using the platform of Congress, gave more sanctity to The Caravan article and people started taking it seriously.The conference gives a suggestion that GNY Asia Fund was responsible for the massive increase in investment in India from Cayman Islands in financial year 2017-18. It also seems to suggest that this entire amount of Rs 8,300 crore came through GNY Asia.Doval lists specific statements from the conference to support his claim.In the press conference, Jairam Ramesh stated and suggested that this Fund had been created as a result of the demonetization and he also tried to connect my Fund to the Dawood Companies, Vivek Doval says.Jairam Ramesh makes it clear that he holds Vivek Doval and Shaurya Doval guilty of illegal activities. This impression is given repeatedly, creating strong impression in the minds of the viewers – Doval.In response to a question at the Conference, Jairam Ramesh answered that what he had presented in the press conference were the facts. In doing so, he removed the distinction between fact, opinion, allegation and fiction – Doval.There are numerous misfacts, innuendoes, inferences that are made in the conference and Jairam Ramesh added greater weight to these – Doval.The reporting of the allegations emanating from the article in The Caravan and the press conference spread like wildfire on social media and digital media – Doval.These allegations were not just limited to digital, social media. I received calls from friends, colleagues nationally and internationally. The level of anxiety with our investor on the Fund was such that my partner told me that it may be appropriate for me to step down – Doval.An uneasiness was created amongst investors, potential investors, service providers, my colleagues of 18 years in Finance -Doval.Integrity of a Fund Manager has to be spotless and as a result of that we have to give regulatory examinations every year of our career. The Caravan article and Press Conference have seriously seriously impacted my career and has perhaps caused years of hardwork to become fruitless – Doval. My friend Nikhil Kapoor sent me a message suggesting shock and anger at what I had done, Doval says. I called him subsequently to explain and was able to reassure him – Doval.However, there were many friends who either kept a silence because they were partly convinced of the allegations – Doval.Vivek Doval further details his professional career. “I started my career in 2001 in Bear Stearns in London.”The Fund was created several weeks later than what we had anticipated. The creation of a fund is an long process involving lawyers, service providers, regulators, investors – Doval says.The process of Fund creation was started approximately in February 2016 and we were looking at competing the process by October 2016. I quit my job in September 2016 – Doval.In October 2013, my Partner Amit and I formed a company together called Vivam Hold Co. Ltd in London. For several years the company did nothing and we kept on working on our investment strategy- Doval.By 2015, I had four years of track record as a Fund Manager and I was now in a position to start a start-up Fund. Consequently, in February 2016, Amit Sharma quit his job and started on the initial process of investigating how to go about setting up funds – Doval.We also sought to meet potential investors who could seed our fund – Doval.In August 2016, after a considerable amount of investigation by Amit, we started the process of firming up our service providers – Doval.When we got a corpus of commitment that was almost sufficient to launch a Fund, we gave the go ahead to the service providers – Doval.It was originally thought that both Amit Sharma and myself will be in Singapore running the Fund but (later) it was decided that Amit would remain in London to provide research. We took our Vivam Co. and changed its name to GNY Capital Ltd. which to would provide research to GNY Asia Fund in Singapore. – Doval.We selected a number of top quality service providers with impeccable KYC norms, including Namoora Securities as the prime broker – Doval.We selected DBS as our bank and PwC as our auditor – Doval.In order keep the costs low, I moved my young family to Delhi and took up a small accommodation in Singapore – Doval.The Fund was registered in Cayman Islands on November 21, 2016 – Doval.A vast number of Hedge Funds (60%) in the world are registered in Cayman Islands. It is a very reputable geography for a Hedge Fund – Doval.The options that we were considering for registration were Singapore and Cayman Islands. But we thought that Singapore would be more expensive – Doval.We had a total of seven investors, Vivek Doval (USD 300,000), Amit Sharma (USD 200,000), Mohd Altaf and family (USD 10.1 million), Nick Allan (USD 250,000), Neeraj Kumar (approx USD 150,000) and Syed Ali Abbas (USD 100,000) – Doval.We had a corpus of 11.1 million USD at inception which is all the monies that the Fund has ever received to-date – Doval.The approximate corpus of the Funds currently is USD 8 million having been impacted by the US – China trade war in 2018 – Doval.The scope of the Fund would be in line with our professional experiences. I had been a successful Asia Pacific fund manager for over 10 years leading up to the GNY Asia Fund formation. The Fund was mandated to invest in China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines -Doval.The Fund was never launched in India. We obtained a provisonal Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) licence from SEBI via Edelweiss Securities – Doval.Given that it was an FPI licence, it was never planned and the Fund was never marketed to investors in India – Doval.Court rises for lunch. Court to re assemble at 2 pm..Post-lunch break updates:.Court re-assembles.Doval continues to address the allegations of investment in India. FPI is investment in financial securities as opposed to FDI which is investment in land, factories and infrastructure – Doval.The reason why we used Edelweiss Securities is because our prime broker Namoora Securities did not provide custodian services in India. Given Edelweiss Securities was known to me from British Airways days, they were selected as the custodian service provider for GNY Asia Fund in India – Doval.It should also be noted that in selecting Edelweiss Securities we had considered another securities company called Kotak Securities, but Edelweiss was selected because of their pro-activeness – Doval.After exiting the India market in August 2017, the Fund never invested in India on account of the fact that the Fund could not broad base its investors – Doval.I do not have any directorship in India but have three overseas. One is that of a residents’ welfare company in London where I used to live, second is GNY Capital Ltd and (third) a dormant company called Y-Fin Advisors in Singapore – Doval.When I started the Fund, I was running on a shoe string budget and would struggle to hire resources in Singapore. So the Fund engaged in a facilities management program with Shaurya Doval’s company Zeus Strategic by which two resources were sub contracted to the GNY Asia Fund along with office space. Besides this arrangement, there is no other business arrangement between Shaurya and myself – Doval.As per the contract, GNY Asia Fund was paying Zeus Strategic USD 2000+ taxes for the services provided – Doval.My father (Ajit Doval) has no relationship with any of my companies. To the best of my knowledge, my father has never been part of any commercial activity – Vivek Doval.Slightly more detailed due diligence would have suggested that GNY capital in London had 8-10 lakh INR as opposed to the 8,300 crore INR alleged in the press conference – Doval.(By using) A host of insinuations, innuendos, allegations were levelled using incorrect facts, unrelated events and insinuations, The Caravan magazine created a narrative that I and my family were involved in a number of illegal activities including knowledge of demonetization, connection to paradise Papers, connection to the House of Saud, violation of Indian and international regulations etc – Doval.The subsequent press conference by Jairam Ramesh again accentuated the scales.. in social media, there is hash tag #chhotaDoval which is prevalent and labelling me as money launderer, tax evader and an anti national – Doval.The impression has been further accentuated by The Caravan magazine which continues to take out a photograph of myself, my father and my brother and labelling us as ‘The D Companies’ – Doval.GNY Asia Fund has had a very challenging time post these allegations. We are seeing uneasiness of existing investors and service providers who themselves think that they have been defamed – Doval.Also our prospective investors have backed off and we are in the process of winding down the Fund -Doval.Amit’s and my careers have been severely impacted. These very serious allegations are embedded in people’s memories – Doval.My reputation has been lowered amongst friends and family..I am a private person whose existence is dominated by his profession. This has also lowered the reputation of the family particularly of my brother and father – Doval.Chief Examination of Vivek Doval concludes.Court adjourns hearing for the day till July 10. Vivek Doval to be cross examined on the next date of hearing..Judge Samar Vishal had taken cognizance of Doval’s criminal defamation complaint against The Caravan, Jairam Ramesh and author of the article Kaushal Shroff on January 22. Doval had moved Court after The Caravan published the article alleging that NSA Ajit Doval’s sons run a web of companies including a Cayman Islands hedge fund even as their father demands a crackdown on tax havens..Bar & Bench is available on WhatsApp. For real-time updates on stories, click here to subscribe to our WhatsApp.