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Plea against NBA dismissed

SC dismisses a petition seeking a CBI probe against Narmada Bachao Andolan and its leader Medha Patkar, reports Satya Prakash.
Hindustan Times | By Satya Prakash, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2007 04:57 AM IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking a CBI probe against Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and its leader Medha Patkar. The allegation was that they had received foreign funds in violation of norms and indulged in anti-national activities.

The petitioner, National Council for Civil Liberties, had accused the NBA of acting at the behest of foreign powers and creating political instability in the country with the funds received.

However, a bench headed by Justice C K Thakker held that “There is no direct evidence of any kind of subversive activities allegedly engaged in by NBA which could be said to be anti-national.” It added that the Respondent no. 5 (NBA) is “genuinely concerned” with the rehabilitation of tribals and looking at its timely completion.

The bench termed the allegations “vague” and “without proper foundation”, and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the petitioner NGO.

Welcoming the verdict Patkar told HT: “This is a victory of truth and moral commitment of the people’s movement at large and NBA in particular. This decision gives them right to agitate and raise issues of human rights and civil liberties. This should be an end to the vilification campaign against us, which was on for the last many years.”

A press release from NBA said their satyagraha in Narmada valley would begin in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh from Wednesday. A similar campaign would then be launched in the village Chimalkhedi (on the river bank), Andurbar district of Maharashtra from July 17, informed the press release.

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