Medha Patkar Convicted in Defamation Case Filed 23 Yrs Ago by Delhi L-G

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday convicted activist Medha Patkar in a criminal defamation case lodged against her by Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena in 2001, reported The Tribune.

While announcing the verdict, the court termed reputation as one of the “most valuable assets” which significantly impacts one’s standing in society.

“It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused (Patkar) published the imputations with the intent and knowledge that they would harm the reputation of the complainant and, therefore, committed an offence punishable under Section 500 of the IPC. She is hereby convicted of the same,” Metropolitan Magistrate Raghav Sharma said while  convicting the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader of criminal defamation.

“The accused’s statements, calling the complainant a coward, not a patriot, and alleging his involvement in hawala transactions, were not only defamatory per se but also crafted to incite negative perceptions,” Sharma said, posting the matter for arguments on the quantum of the sentence on May 30 at 2 pm.

Saxena had filed the complaint against Patkar’s November 2000 over a defamatory press release issued against him by the NBA activist.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sharma said, “…the accusation that the complainant (Saxena) was mortgaging the people of Gujarat and their resources to foreign interests was a direct attack on his integrity and public service.” Saxena’s testimony, supported by two court witnesses, showed Patkar falsely associated him with activities contrary to his public stance, the court said.

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