HC clerk summoned with record of Medha Patkar’s plea to quash defamation case by KVIC chief
NEW DELHI: A court here has summoned an official of the Delhi High Court’s record room with the original copy of a writ petition filed by Medha Patkar in which she had sought quashing of the defamation case filed by KVIC chairman V K Saxena.
Saxena, who is locked in a cross-defamation case against Patkar, had filed an application in the court, saying that the Narmada Bachao Andolan activist made an incorrect statement of having denied issuing libelous press statement against him.
He also placed a document from the High Court to buttress that Patkar made “judicial admission” of issuing the statement.
He contended that when Patkar failed to obtain any stay of proceedings, she withdrew it on January 9, 2019.
In the application filed on February 17, 2020, the Khadi Village and Industries (KVIC) chief alleged that Patkar had been continuously denying that she has ever issued such a press note, but in her high court petition seeking quashing of proceedings in another case, she made “judicial admission” of having issued the same.
“The averment in the petition is a judicial admission by the accused (Medha Patkar) and confirms the stand of the complainant V K Saxena that she issued the press note in question and it was published by the web portal which is precisely the case of the complainant,” it said.
The application said an advance copy of the petition was also sent to Saxena by her advocate.
In the said criminal petition, Patkar in the list of “dates and events”, mentioned that on November 24, 2000, a press note was released by her which was subsequently published in a news portal, it added.
Metropolitan Magistrate Animesh Kumar after hearing both the sides said, “It is a case of the complainant (V K Saxena) that on November 26, 2018, accused (Medha Patkar) filed a petition before the Delhi High Court for quashing the proceedings pending before this court.”
“The counsel for the complainant submits that the accused has made certain judicial admissions under oath in the said petition filed before the Delhi High Court where she has categorically admitted that she made averments against the complainant,” he said.
“Perusal of the file shows that the present case is related to defamation for certain comments allegedly made by the accused against the complainant which were subsequently published in rediff. com. It prima facie seems that the accused (Medha Patkar) has made certain averments in her petition before the Delhi High Court.”
“Although the said petition has been withdrawn by the accused with the permission of Delhi High Court; however, the question as to whether the said averments are relevant or not in the present case is the subject matter of trial,” the judge noted.
“Therefore, in view of the above, I am of the considered view that the relevant record related to ‘Medha Patkar Vs State of Delhi & Others’ be summoned in the present case. Hence, let summon be issued to the concerned clerk of the record room of Delhi High Court to bring the original case file on March 19, 2021,” he said in the order passed recently.
Patkar and Saxena have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for publishing advertisements against her and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).
Saxena was then the chief of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties.
Saxena, now chief of Khadi Village and Industries Commission, in turn, had filed two cases against her for making derogatory remarks against him on a TV channel and issuing a defamatory press statement against him.
According to the application, the entire controversy in the case pending before the court was if Patkar had issued a press note dated November 24, 2000, which was subsequently published by the web portal.
It claimed that in the press note, Patkar claimed that Saxena visited Malegaon, praised Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and donated a cheque of Rs 40,000 to Lok Samiti, a support group of NBA, which was published by the news portal.
Saxena has denied the allegations.