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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Contempt notice, a chance to present our view: Medha

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com
Wednesday, February 28, 2001


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Contempt notice, a chance to present our view: Medha

By Kalpana Sharma

CAPE TOWN, FEB. 27. The Supreme Court of India seemed a long distance away for the Narmada Bachao Andolan's Ms. Medha Patkar when she heard that she had been issued, yet again, a contempt notice for her response to its ruling in the Narmada case. Ms. Patkar is in Cape Town, attending the last stakeholders' forum meeting of the World Commission on Dams on which she served as one of the 12 commissioners since 1998.

In response to the news that she had been served a contempt notice, Ms. Patkar told The Hindu, ``I see this as an opportunity to present, not just before a court of law but before civil society what we really feel about the judiciary and how we view justice''. She said that did not have anything against the role and the place of the judiciary in society. ``But we were disgusted with the process and the result'', she said. ``That really fell very short of our expectations''.

Ms. Patkar, who has played an active role in the deliberations of the WCD over the last three years, said, ``We hope that the judges, who once exhibited the broadness of their shoulders will again express their openness of heart. This, we hope, will open up a new phase of interaction between the judiciary and people like us who represent the disadvantaged. It could pave the way for true justice in the future''.

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