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Activist Medha Patkar convicted in 24-year-old defamation case

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, May 24, 2024: A Delhi court on Friday convicted social activist Medha Patkar in a defamation case lodged against her by VK Saxena, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Metropolitan Magistrate Raghav Sharma found Patkar guilty of criminal defamation.


Medha Patkar

Patkar and Saxena have been locked in a legal battle since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for publishing advertisements against her and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).

Saxena was then the chief of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties.

Saxena had also filed two cases against her for making derogatory remarks against him on a TV channel and issuing a defamatory statement.

The magistrate court stated that Patkar’s statements against Saxena were "not only defamatory but also crafted to incite negative perceptions".

"It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused Medha Patkar published the impulations with the intent and knowledge that they would harm the repulation of the complainant," the court said.

The court noted that Patkar’s accusation that Saxena was "mortgaging the people of Gujarat and their resources to foreign interests was a direct attack on his integrity and public service".

"Its been demonstrated that the defamatory statements made by the accused not only questioned his integrity and patriotism but also falsely associated him with activities contrary to his public stance," the court said.

"The accused failed to provide any evidence to counter these claims or to show that she did not intend or foresee the harm these imputations would cause," it added.

"Medha Patkar has committed an offence punishable under Section 500 of the IPC. She is hereby convicted of the same," the court said.

Under the relevant law, Patkar may get a jail term of two years or fine or both as punishment.

Courtesy: India Today

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