Troubled times don’t seem to get over for Housing this month. What started as a public spat between its CEO Rahul Yadav and Shailendra Singh (Sequoia) has taken another turn.In reference to Yadav’s email to Housing’s employees that alleged that Times Group is trying malign Housing to promote Times Internet’s MagicBricks, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL), the holding company of Times Group has sent a legal notice to the Housing, seeking an apology and $16 million (Rs.100 crore) in damages against alleged defamation.
An Indian media portal VCCircle confirmed with BCCL that the notice has been issued against Locon Solutions(Housing.com’s owner) and its board members, including two of its co-founders who are currently directors, Rahul Yadav and Advitiya Sharma. The media house claims that it will initiate with the legal proceedings if their demands aren’t met.
An excerpt of the notice is given below
From a bare perusal of the defamatory email, it is clear that you (Rahul Yadav and Locon Solutions) have made various offensive, false, disparaging and pejorative remarks against us which are per se defamatory, thereby causing serious damage to our reputation. We state that you are jointly and severally responsible and liable for circulation of the defamatory email.
The notice also alleges that Yadav had directly and indirectly threatened BCCL, and that the email circulated internally in Housing was ‘highly libelous, scandalous, false, defamatory, malicious and irresponsible statements’ and its publication has tarnished the image and goodwill of BCCL.
Yadav’s quarrel with Sequoia’s Singh had exaggerated after Times Group’s another subsidiary The Economic Times had announced that he might be removed from the CEO position and gave multiple reasons for his possible eviction which Yadav had turned down in the aforementioned email. While Housing is indeed competing with MagicBricks, the notice comes after BCCL too clarified that it keeps its properties apart and won’t use its media arm in this manner.
Considering the two companies have created a place for themselves in their respective domains, it can be hoped that they make peace and calm down.