Mehbooba sends Rs 10 crore legal notice to former Jammu and Kashmir governor

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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday sent a legal notice to former governor of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik, seeking Rs 10 crore in damages for making “vexatious, false motivated and incorrect” statement regarding her being a beneficiary of Roshni Act.

The legal notice, sent through advocate Anil Sethi, states that Malik, the incumbent governor of Meghalaya, made the statement, calling Mehbooba as beneficiary of Raoshni Act, in order to tarnish the former chief minister’s reputation.
“A video has been circulated in media where you, while being escorted by the official staff of Raj Bhawan of Meghalaya are shown as holding a press conference. While recounting your days as Governor in erstwhile State of J&K, at 0.23 seconds of the said video clip, you have alleged that my client took benefit of the State Land under the J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 which is popularly known as the Roshni Act and that on verification, you found the above allegation to be correct,” reads the notice a copy of which lies with GNS.

“By conducting yourself as an Ex-Governor of J&K State and making utterances about the benefit being taken by my client under Roshni Act, which are not only false and incorrect, you have defamed my client and have levelled scandalous and serious allegations against her with the sole objective of tarnishing her otherwise politically neat and clean image.”

Advocate Sethi said that it was a fact that “(Mehbooba) has never been beneficiary of State land under Roshni Act and has never taken any land (under the Act) which now stands quashed/ repealed.”

“By making such false utterances, you have tarnished the image of my client (Mehbooba) and have defamed her and lowered her reputation in the estimation of public,” read the notice, adding, “All the allegations in the video clip are vexatious, false motivated and incorrect and this fact is known to you as well.”

He said although no amount of money can compensate her for the loss of reputation and good name which loss has been caused by Satya Pal Malik’s conduct, “yet my client has decided to sue you for claiming compensation / damages for loss of reputation and good name earned by her and for establishing that the allegations levelled you are incorrect and false and have been levelled at a juncture which hints at a political collusion behind, the speech made by you.”

“By virtue of this Legal Notice, I, therefore, call upon you to pay compensatory damages to my client (Mehboooba) to the extent of Rs. 10 crores within 30 days of receipt of this Legal Notice. (This amount of damages/ compensation is not supposed to be utilised by my client for her personal gains/ benefits but shall be donated/ utilised for public good).”

Malik has been asked to treat the legal notice in terms of Section 80 CPC. “Further legal consequences shall follow in case of non-compliance of the demand made herein,” the notice added. (GNS)

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