The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on a petition seeking her prosecution for allegedly filing "fake" medical certificate to seek exemption from personal appearance in two criminal defamation cases.
Justice Siddharath Mridul asked the NBA leader to respond to the petition filed by V K Saxena, President of an NGO, National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), challenging the order of a trial court dismissing his application.
A trial court here had on March 31 dismissed the plea of Saxena who sought prosecution of Patkar for perjury for allegedly filing fake medical certificate to ensure exemption from personal appearance in defamation cases filed by them against each other.
The NCCL chief in his petition before the High Court, sought quashing of the metropolitan magistrate's order saying that the trial court had wrongly denied him adjournment as his counsel was not available on the day and it resulted in "gross injustice".
"The Magistrate has shown exemplary haste in disposing of application and even did not allow one-day adjournment to get the case argued through a senior counsel," he said.
The petitioner has also sought an inquiry into the matter to ascertain the truth about the medical certificate used by Patkar in the case.
"Respondent (Patkar) has deliberately, intentionally, dishonestly and with a view to mislead the court lied simultaneously in two cases to deliberately derail the due process of justice by filling false, fabricated certificate of her illness.
"However, the learned Magistrate failed to appreciate the efforts made by the petitioner (Saxena) to expose the lies of Patkar and instead of ordering an inquiry to ascertain the truth he dismissed the application, which has caused gross injustice," he said.
According to the petitioner, Patkar did not appear before a court March 3, 2009, and had sought exemption from personal appearance on the ground that she was ill by allegedly filing "fake" medical certificate which was issued by a hospital in Maharashtra.
Saxena, in his application, had questioned the veracity of the medical report claiming that on the day, she was busy staging a 'dharna' at the collector's office at Nandurbar in Maharashtra.
He claimed that according to a reply received from Public Information Officer of the Superintendent of Police office at Nandurbar in response to an RTI application clearly established that Patkar was medically fit and was present in the Collector's office on the day.