In the Sabarmati ashram assault on social activist Medha Patkar case, the defence lawyer on Friday questioned her conduct during the cross-examination that lasted for nearly four hours. When the Metropolitan court as well as Patkar asked the relevance of several questions being asked, the defence lawyer said, “Each question is relevant to show the conduct of the complainant in this very case.”
The case concerns the assault on Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Patkar, along with several social activists and journalists in April, 2002, at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. A mob had allegedly assaulted Patkar, who was part of a gathering assembled in the ashram appealing for peace in the aftermath of post-Godhra riots.
The lawyer representing two accused, National Council for Civil Liberty chairman V K Saxena and former Ahmedabad mayor Amit Shah, asked several questions related to Patkar’s involvement with NBA.
The cross-examination started with the lawyer asking Patkar about the incidents of assaults on her in other states, such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, among others, and if she had lodged any complaint. Patkar replied that she remembered some incidents in which she had filed police complaints.
Following the submission of copies of Supreme Court’s orders reportedly criticising NBA, Patkar replied that the defence was submitting half-baked information. She said that she lodged the FIR in 2002 as an individual which had nothing to do with the NBA’s functionality. She also said that the defence was asking irrelevant questions. The defence lawyer reacted and told the court, “She is telling lies before this court.”
The defence also asked Patkar about the year in which NBA was established and who were its founding members. Patkar replied that the process of building the organisation started in 1985, but it was named NBA in 1990.
She said that apart from her, there are many people in different states who are its founding members. The next date of the cross-examination has been scheduled for January 16, 2014.