NBA activist Medha Patkar today recorded her statement before a Delhi court in a defamation complaint filed by her against Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman V K Saxena. Patkar told Metropolitan Magistrate Nishant Garg that she was defamed by an advertisement published by Saxena in November 2000 and the imputations made in the publication affected her reputation and fame and caused her immense harm. The court posted the matter for April 9 for when the Saxena will cross examination Patkar. 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, in turn, had filed two cases against her for making derogatory and defamatory statements. During the proceedings today, she claimed that the advertisement had alleged that there was an exchange of some confidential documents, while terming them as "absolutely false". "All this has also created an impression of me working against national interest while I have never compromised with the national interest and have been working within the framework of the Constitution for equality and justice as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, especially the poor and disadvantaged," Patkar said. Saxena, during his cross examination before the court in a defamation case filed by him against the activist, had on December 8 last year alleged that Patkar's NGO Narmada Bachao Andolan was opposing every developmental project in the country. He had denied having lodged a false case against Patkar and claimed that the advertisement published in 2000 about her was not based on false documents but were admitted by the activist. He had also denied the suggestion of Patkar's counsel V K Ohri that the advertisement titled "True face of Medha Patkar and her NBA" published on November 10, 2000 was based on false documents with an intention to defame her. Patkar and Saxena had earlier refused the suggestion of the court to settle the matter through mediation.
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