A Delhi court on Saturday imposed a cost of Rs 15,000 on activist Medha Patkar for not appearing before it in defamation cases filed by her and the head of an Ahmedabad-based NGO against each other.
Metropolitan Magistrate Rajinder Singh slapped a cost of Rs 5,000 in each of the three defamation cases filed by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Patkar and V K Saxena,president of National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL),who are involved in a legal battle for the last 13 years,after she failed to appear in court.
The court,however,allowed Patkars plea for exemption from personal appearance for a day.
The accused (Patkar,who is also a complainant) is absent on almost every date…. Exemption (from personal appearance) is allowed with cost of Rs 5,000 in each of the cases, the court said while asking her to appear before it on July 17.
The judge noted that the matter had been fixed for today with the direction that Patkar and Saxena should compromise and settle their differences and withdraw their defamation cases against each other,but no such conclusion is before me.
The court on January 10 had advised the two litigants to to settle their differences and withdraw their defamation cases against each other.
Patkar had filed two defamation cases against Saxena,who too had filed a defamation case against the NBA leader.
She had filed the suit for publication of an article True Face of Medha Patkar and her NBA in 2000 allegedly at the behest of Saxena against whom the court has already framed charges.
The case was shifted from Ahmedabad to Delhi by the Supreme Court on a plea of the NBA activist.
The court had earlier framed charges under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC against both Patkar and Saxena in two separate cases filed by them against each other.
Patkar and Saxena have been locked in criminal cases of defamation against each other since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for advertisements published against her and NBA.