Naik files R 25-cr defamation case against Mhatre
Belapur MLA had said the NCP leader was involved in corruption, refused to apologise
VASHI: Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP) leader Ganesh Naik, who lost the last Assembly elections to BJP’s Manda Mhatre from Belapur constituency, has filed a special civil suit against her alleging defamation. He is seeking Rs25 crore in damages.
The case has been filed in the court of civil judge, senior division, Thane, alleging that Mhatre made defamatory statements against Naik on a television show.
The MLA, on the show telecast on October 9 last year, alleged that Naik is involved in corruption.
Besides Mhatre, the panel on the show also had Ganesh Naik’s nephew mayor Sagar Naik, Shiv Sena candidate Vijay Nahata and Congress candidate Namdeo Bhagat.
Naik had on February 6 sent a defamation notice to Mhatre demanding a written apology from her over her alleged comments against him. He had asked her to tender a written apology for making “such defamatory imputations”.
He had also asked her pay Rs25 crore in damages or be prepared to face a defamation law suit. Mhatre had dismissed the allegation, stating that her lawyer will give a fitting reply to the notice.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Sanjay Borkar, Naik’s advocate, said: “On March 13 this year, Mhatre admitted to the telecast of the programme but refused to tender an apology, contending that she has not caused any defamation by her statements.”
Borkar said: “My client has, therefore, filed the suit seeking redressal of his grievances by the process of law. He is seeking Rs25 crore in damages.”
He added, “The hearing in the case is likely to be next week, following which summons are likely to be sent to Mhatre.”
When contacted, Mhatre said: “The notice has come four months after the Assembly polls. I have not defamed anyone and my lawyer will give a suitable reply.”
Congress candidate Surekha Maruti Konde (second from right) and Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (second from left) campaign at Kopar Khairane on Friday.