Defamation charges have been framed against Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar in a case filed against her by Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman V K Saxena, reported TOI.

What happened?

Saxena alleged that Patkar defamed him on a TV news channel in 2006.

In a panel discussion, she had claimed that Saxena had received civil contracts from Gujarat-based Sardar Sarovar Nigam, which manages the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

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Saxena then denied the allegations and filed a complaint. Soon after this, Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd issued its own statement.

In a letter to the Gujarat Police, it said, “V K Saxena, neither in his personal capacity, nor as President of National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), ever applied to the Nigam for the award of any civil contract and/or for any supply contract in the past, nor the Nigam has ever given any civil or any other contract to him or to his NGO– NCCL.”

Charges against Patkar

The notice was framed under sections 499/500 of the IPC in a Delhi Court on July 9. The case will be heard on August 28.

If proved, the charges can land Patkar in jail for a period of two years.

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Garg said, “Prima facie case is made out against the accused for the offences.”

Defamation complaint against Saxena

In 2002, Medha Patkar filed a case against Saxena, alleging that he had published advertisements which went against her and the NBA. Saxena was the chief of an Ahmedabad-based NGO, National Council for Civil Liberties then.

She claimed that the advertisements harmed her reputation and image immensely.

Following this, he too retorted by filing two cases against her, accusing her of passing derogatory remarks against him on TV and issuing a press statement with defamatory comments against him.

Patkar had also filed a case against Saxena for allegedly physically assaulting her in Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat in 2002. Facts of this case were also used by Saxena’s counsel to cross-examine Patkar.

During his cross-examination in December last year for the defamation case, Saxena had alleged that the NBA was opposing every developmental project in the country. He also said that the advertisements was not fake and was based on proper documents.

Saxena’s other defamation suit is scheduled for August 27 and Patkar’s case will be heard on August 29.

Both parties were suggested by the court to resolve the matter through mediation, but refused to do so.

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Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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