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Updated 02:00 IST[Late CityFriday, July 30, 1999, New Delhi
 

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‘Medha, Arundhati violated SC order’
HT Correspondent (New Delhi, July 29)

Amicus curae K.K. Venugopal today proposed that the Supreme Court “warn” Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar not to make derogatory remarks hereafter on the court’s orders on the Sardar Sarovar project.

Mr Venugopal, who has been asked to assist the court after the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice A.S. Anand took a serious view of the statements of Ms Roy and Ms Patkar, noted that the two have clearly violated the apex court’s orders restraining them from commenting on the pending case.

As for Ms Roy, the amicus curae said the court may issue her a warning. Alternatively, the court may dismiss objectionable references in Ms Roy’s book, “The Greater Common Good”, as an “irresponsible statement”, Mr Venugopal added. The court adjourned the case until Thursday.

On July 22, the court, taking strong exception to Ms Arundhati Roy’s references in her book and Ms Medha Patkar’s Press statements on the subject, had appointed Mr Venugopal as amicus curae to assist the court on the course of action against the two Narmada activists. The Supreme Court has been hearing a petition filed by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) challenging the construction of the big dam on the ground that a large number of oustees had not been rehabilitated so far by the Government.

The apex court while allowing the Gujarat Government to raise the height of the dam from 80 to 85 metres had directed the State Government to take steps to rehabilitate the displaced people.


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