Delhi court sentences Medha Patkar to 5 months in jail, orders to pay Rs 10 lakh in defamation suit filed by LGV's Saxena

A Delhi court on Monday sentenced Narmada Bachao Andolan leader and activist Medha Patkar In 2001, he was sentenced to 5 months simple imprisonment in a criminal defamation case filed against him by Vinai Kumar Saxena.

VK Saxena is currently the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

The court said that Patkar was not being punished excessively considering his age and medical ailments. The judge said the sentence will be suspended for 30 days.

Saket Courts Metropolitan Magistrate Raghav Sharma further said that Patkar was asked to pay Rs. 10 lakh compensation to Saxena for the loss.

Pitkar was convicted by the court on 24 May for criminal defamation under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Saxena filed a case against Patkar in 2001. He was then the chief of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties.

Saxena filed a defamation case against Patkar on 25 November 2000 in a press note titled “The True Face of a Patriot”.

In a press note, Patkar said, “VK Saxena, who is worried about hawala transactions, himself came to Malegaon, praised the NBA and handed over a check of Rs. 40,000 to the Lok Samithi easily and promptly. Sent the receipt and letter, showing that there is something else after keeping good records, but the check was not cashed and bounced. On inquiry, the bank reported that the account did not exist.”

Patkar said that Saxena was a coward and not a patriot.

After filing a complaint in 2001, an MM court in Ahmedabad took cognizance of the offense under Section 500 of the IPC and issued a case against Patkar under Section 204 of the CrPC. On 03 February 2003, the CMM Court in the national capital received the complaint as per the order of the Supreme Court. In 2011, Patkar pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

Convicting her, the court said that Patkar's actions were deliberate and malicious, aimed at tarnishing the good name of Saxena and had caused substantial damage to her standing and reputation.

He observed that Patkar's statements, calling Saxena a coward and unpatriotic, and accusing her of being involved in hawalat transactions, were not only personally defamatory but negative. was also designed to ignite.

It added that Patkar failed to provide any evidence to counter the claims or to show that she did not intend or anticipate the harm caused by the allegations.

Further, the judge concluded that Patkar's decision to call the complainant a “coward” and “unpatriotic” was a direct attack on his personal character and loyalty to the nation.

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