The Delhi Court, on August 3, 2017, imposed a penalty on Ms. Medha Patkar owing to her repeated failure to appear in the hearings of the Defamation Case.
This order was issued in the petition filed by her and KVIC Chairman V K Saxena against each other. Both the parties have been involved in a legal battle since the year 2000 after a petition was filed by Ms Patkar against the Respondents after they allegedly published derogatory advertisements against her and the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
In the previous hearings, the Hon’ble Court had stated that it was a ‘last and final opportunity’, when it cancelled the non bailable warrant that had been issued against her.
This is not the first time that she has avoided the hearings, as on July 10, the Hon’ble Court had issued a warning in her interest, asking her to be “careful in the future” was a while imposing a penalty in the amount of Rs 3000/-.
“Evidence cannot be led in the absence of the accused (Patkar). Tersely speaking, Patkar is absent and unrepresented in the court. “Even otherwise, ground for absence is not acceptable for she had the knowledge and awareness about the court proceedings. It was incumbent upon her to have made the arrangements for her return to Delhi for appearing in court today. NBW be issued against Medha Patkar and notice to her surety through DCP (South East) for July 10,” it had stated in its decision.
The Counsel representing the Petitioner, while submitting her reasons, had stated that she was on a hunger strike in a village in Madhya Pradesh, while the Counsel on behalf of the Respondent, opposed the plea for her personal exemption, alleging that she was deliberately not appearing and if she was not well then how was she on a hunger strike.
Mr. Saxena, currently acting as the Chairman of Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC), contended he has been regularly appearing in the case whereas the accused has remained absent for no valid ground on previous occasions.