By Atul Patankar
As reported at http://www.dnaindia.com on January 28, 2010
New Delhi: Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar's plea in the Supreme Court for transfer of a criminal defamation case outside Gujarat has been opposed by the complainant on the grounds that she allegedly suppressed various material facts and documents.
The application filed by complainant VK Saxena, president of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), who has opposed her plea for transfer of the case to Delhi, sought the permission of the court to place evidence on record to substantiate his allegations.
He has sought to produce documents to prove that the main purpose of shifting the case to Delhi was to linger the proceedings on one or the other "false grounds" as has been done by her in other cases which were transfered from Gujarat.
The NBA leader has sought transfer of the case filed by Saxena in a Gujarat in 2006 for her allegedly defamatory remarks during a TV debate pertaining to Sardar Sarovar Project.
In the application, while opposing Patkar's plea, he gave reference of another defamation case which was transferred to Delhi on her plea by the Supreme Court in which she sought exemption from personal appearance by allegedly placing false medical certificate from a hospital in Nandurbar, Gujarat.
The NCCL president submitted that the information gathered by his NGO under the RTI Act from the Nandurbar Police clearly stated that when she sought exemption from appearance in the Patiala house court in New Delhi on March 3, 2009 on medical grounds, she had taken out procession on the NBA's demand to the office of the collector. Saxena had filed the complaint against Patkar on June 29, 2006 before metropolitan magistrate Gheekanta, Ahmedabad, accusing her of making a false statement that he received civil contracts related to the SSP in the name of NCCL.
The NBA activist has told the Supreme Court that she was seeking transfer of a criminal defamation case against her outside Gujarat as there was a threat to her life in the state from the members of the NGO.
Patkar, a Magsaysay award winner, has sought transfer of the case to Delhi, contending that the apex court had earlier shifted proceedings of another defamation case filed in Ahmedabad against her by Saxena. The case is pending before a metropolitan magistrate's court here.
She has alleged that Saxena's complaint was politically motivated as he was antagonistic to her ideology and her work. She claimed that he was instrumental in publishing many defamatory advertisements against her and NBA in various dailies for which she filed a defamation case in Delhi.
The activist submitted that instead of her, it was Saxena who had made several defamatory allegations against her and the NBA in the television programme in which both had participated over telephone.
Patkar and Saxena are locked in five criminal cases against each other. The NBA activist has registered three cases against Saxena.
Source: Application filed to oppose Medha Patkar's plea in Supreme Court - dnaindia.com
As reported by Poornima Swaminathan in mid-day.com on 21 January 2011:
Jail stint: 2.5 yrs, In hospital: 1.5 yrs)
Jail stint: 2.5 yrs, In hospital: 1.5 yrs
Matka queen Jaya Bhagat has spent 490 days out of her 30-month jail custody at JJ hospital, reveals RTI; sources say she even runs her racket from there
The safest place to run a gambling racket in the city could well be from the sanitised environs of a hospital bed.
It has come to the fore that Jaya Bhagat, arrested on charges of orchestrating the murder of ex-husband matka king Suresh Bhagat in 2008, has competently been running the matka business while admitted to JJ hospital's general ward over the last year.
Jaya Bhagat stays in the general ward instead of the prisoners' ward at JJ Hospital.
At a time when medical facilities in the prison are dismal and most prisoners do not have access to basic cough tablets and painkillers, Jaya's overstay at the hospital is raising many eyebrows.
Well-placed sources said that instead of serving time in a prison, Jaya, under the guise of being treated, is "being pampered and is enjoying a good time and has also been running the matka business from the hospital ward".
Sources said she has been running the matka business using the cell phones of relatives and visitors who come to see her.
The details of her stay were revealed through an RTI enquiry.
The documents (in MiD DAY's possession) state that Jaya's last stint at JJ hospital was a year long, since January 21, 2010, until January 8, 2011, the date the reply was issued.
Moreover, ever since her jail custody since August 2008, she has been visiting the hospital almost every month (see box), spending an aggregate of 490 days in the hospital's care until date.
According to hospital authorities, Jaya is being treated for hypothyroidism, infection in the urinary bladder, psychotic depression, uterine fibroid, and has been admitted to the neurology ward of the hospital.
As per the rule, undertrials are supposed to be admitted in the prison ward. But jail authorities say that even after they intervened, Jaya has still not been shifted. "Jaya's continual hospital stays did come to my notice.
I wrote to the hospital authorities asking them to shift her to the prisoner ward, but to no avail," said Surinder Kumar, deputy inspector general, prisons.
Earlier this month, when MiD DAY asked JJ hospital dean, Dr T P Lahane, about prisoners staying at hospitals for long stretches, he had said, "It's a difficult task to handle prisoners.
Matka king Suresh Bhagat's murder was orchestrated by Jaya Bhagat in 2008
They approach us with various special requests and unnecessarily pressurise the doctors and hospital administration.
But if the patient is really ill, irrespective of their prisoner status, we will treat the patient as a human being first."
Suresh Bhagat was allegedly murdered by his wife Jaya, son Hitesh and five others in June 2008.
The seven accused were booked under the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act, after investigations revealed that they had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Bhagat. The MCOCA charges were dropped later.
According to the police, Jaya and Suresh were running two separate matka gambling operations in the city after they divorced.
The murder conspiracy came to light after a dispute over earnings worth
Rs 100 crore.
Details of Jaya Bhagat's stay at JJ hospital
Jan 21, 2010 to Jan 8, 2011: nearly a year
Dec 12, 2009 to Jan 4, 2010: 25 days
May 30, 2009 to July 14 2009: 45 days
April 25, 2009 to May 15, 2009: 20 days
Mar 25, 2009 to Mar 30, 2009: 6 days
Feb 4, 2009 to Mar 3, 2009: 30 days