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Medha Patkar Convicted in Defamation Case Filed by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena

Narmada Bachao Andolan founder, Medha Patkar, has been convicted in a criminal defamation case filed against her by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. The case, initiated in 2006, concluded with Metropolitan Magistrate Raghav Sharma delivering the conviction order on Friday.

Magistrate Sharma underscored the significance of reputation, emphasizing its impact on personal, professional, and societal standings. The court is set to hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on May 30.

The legal dispute between Patkar and Saxena traces back to 2000 when Saxena, then chief of the National Council for Civil Liberties, faced a case filed by the activist over published advertisements targeting her and the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Saxena, in turn, filed counteractions against Patkar for alleged derogatory remarks made on a TV channel in 2006 and for issuing a defamatory press statement.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan, spearheaded by Patkar, voiced concerns over the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat, inaugurated in 2017. Patkar’s organization highlighted potential repercussions for 40,000 families, anticipating displacement due to submergence of their homes. The project, initiated in 1961 by then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, has been mired in controversies throughout its history.

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