Naik files R 25-cr defama­tion case against Mha­tre

Belapur MLA had said the NCP leader was in­volved in cor­rup­tion, re­fused to apol­o­gise

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTNAVIMUMB­AI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

Congress can­di­date Surekha Maruti Konde (sec­ond from right) and Congress leader Rad­hakr­ishna Vikhe Patil (sec­ond from left) cam­paign at Kopar Khairane on Fri­day.

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