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Defamation row: Patkar, NGO chief say compromise not possible

Medha Patkar

Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar and the head of an Ahmedabad-based NGO today informed a Delhi court
Medha PatkarNew Delhi: Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar and the head of an Ahmedabad-based NGO today informed a Delhi court that it was not possible for them to reach a compromise and withdraw the defamation cases lodged against each other more than 13 years ago.

Patkar, who was not present in the court due to her pre-occupation with election campaigning as she is contesting from Mumbai’s North East Lok Sabha seat on Aam Aadmi Party ticket, was directed to remain present on August 13 without fail.

“Since the matter is listed for complainant evidence, complainant (Patkar) is directed to appear before it without fail. List the matter for August 13,” the court said.

V K Saxena, president of the NGO, National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), told Metropolitan Magistrate Bhawna Kalia that he approached Patkar for settlement but she refused to agree to some of the clauses put by him, therefore, he was not going to settle the issue.

Meanwhile, Patkar’s counsel V K Ohri opposed the NGO head’s contention saying Saxena has asked them to withdraw the other case lodged against him at Ahmedabad which was not possible for them.

“We went settlement of these (three) cases lodged against each other in Delhi but Saxena has put certain clauses, so we refused to withdraw them,” Ohri said.

After this, counsel for both the parties informed the court that “compromise is not possible”.

Saxena, who was personally present before the court, opposed Patkar’s request saying she could have informed in advance about her absence so that he also would have not come from Ahmedabad.

The court has now listed the matter for next date on which it will frame notice against Patkar in one case. In the other two cases, court had already framed notice against the accused and Patkar and Saxena have been directed to record their evidence on the next date of hearing in those cases.

Patkar and Saxena have been emboiled in legal tussle since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for advertisements published against herself and Narmada Bachao Andolan.

The court is hearing three separate cases lodged by Patkar and Saxena against each other.

Patkar had filed one defamation case against Saxena, who, in turn, filed two lawsuits against her.


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