‘Example must be set’: Delhi LG Vinai Saxena seeks maximum punishment for Medha Patkar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Example must be set’: Delhi LG Vinai Saxena seeks maximum punishment for Medha Patkar

By, New Delhi
May 30, 2024 08:12 PM IST

On May 24, social activist Medha Patkar was convicted in a defamation case filed by Delhi lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

Delhi's Saket court on Thursday concluded hearing the arguments of social activist Medha Patkar and Vinai Kumar Saxena, days after it convicted the former in a defamation case filed by the Delhi lieutenant governor.

File Image: Social activist Medha Patkar (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)
File Image: Social activist Medha Patkar (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

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Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Raghav Sharma, who held on May 24 that Patkar was guilty of defaming Saxena, also sought a victim impact report (VIR) from the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA). Such a report is prepared after the conviction of an accused, to assess the quantum of loss suffered by a victim.

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Further proceedings in the matter will be held on June 7.

VK Saxena's arguments

During Thursday's proceedings, the Delhi LG's lawyer sought maximum punishment (two-year jail term or fine or both), saying that an “example must be set.”

Pointing to a “repeat offence of the same nature” by Patkar from 2006, Saxena's counsel said that she has a “past conduct of defying the law.”

The circumstances against the activist are “aggravating,” the lawyer claimed.

Medha Patkar's arguments

Patkar's lawyer, however, stated that there are no “aggravating circumstances” nor is she a “repeat offender.”

“There are several mitigating circumstances such as Patkar being 70-year-old and suffering from several ailments. Also, she has received 28 national awards and five international awards. These include the ‘Right Livelihood Award,' widely regarded as the alternative to the Nobel Prize,” her counsel submitted.

Also Read | Medha Patkar: Amplifying the commoner’s voice

“I would only urge the court to consider,” he added.

Medha Patkar vs VK Saxena

The two have been locked in a legal tussle since 2000, when she filed a suit against him, accusing him of publishing advertisements targeting both her and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).

At the time, VK Saxena headed Council for Civil Liberties, an Ahmedabad-based NGO.

(With PTI inputs)

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