Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhra Chhaunkar said both Patkar and V K Saxena, President of NGO National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), were public figures and their long legal tussle was not leading anywhere.

"You both are public figures. Why don't you sit and talk? The matter is being referred to mediation centre. You both try to reach settlement today itself before a mediator and inform the court on next date of hearing," the Metropolitan Magistrate added while posting the matter for July 30.

The court, which was to pronounce its order on framing of defamation charges against Patkar in one of the three cases, asked her why she was not trying to settle the dispute with Saxena, as both have to come to Delhi from Ahmedabad for the cases which have been going on for the past 14 years.

You should not go into mediation with a blocked mind but with an open mind. Try to reach a settlement and if you fail to do so, then court will proceed accordingly," the Magistrate asserted.

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