#MeToo: Painter slaps Rs10 cr defamation suit on journo

Pravin Mishra

City-based activist, filmmaker and painter Pravin Mishra has slapped a Rs10 crore defamation suit on independent journalist Surabhi Vaya for alleging the former of "assault" on a social media platform during the peak of #MeToo movement last year. The court on Saturday issued a notice to Vaya and scheduled the next hearing on November 30.

The special civil suit was filed on Friday against Vaya in Mirzapur court here in Ahmedabad. In October last year, Vaya wrote on her Facebook account that how she was allegedly assaulted by Mishra at his house two years ago during a social function.

On Saturday the post was not found on her page when DH tried to access it. 

However, the post was back on her page on Sunday along with other connected posts which she uploaded last year alleging Mishra of assault. In one of the posts, she also criticised civil society for keeping silence. Her post says, "The fact that we as survivors must bear the burden of social change while others remain silent is a deeply disturbing truth, one I had hoped I wouldn't have to discover. It also means: nothing will change."  

Vaya didn't respond to repeated calls, text and WhatsApp messages for her comments on the suit.

On Saturday, the post was not found on her page when DH tried to access it. Vaya didn't respond to repeated calls, text and WhatsApp messages for her comments on the suit.

Mishra's lawyer Dharam Thakor told DH, "We have moved defamation and sought damage of Rs 10 crore for loss of my client's reputation and livelihood, among others. The court received our case and issued a notice to the defendant (Vaya) and sought her reply by November 30."

When contacted Mishra also confirmed the filing of the suit but refused to divulge further information while saying that "matter is sub-judice and I don't want to comment any further." Mishra was working as director of Crafting Creative Communication (CCC) at MICA, a strategic marketing and communication institution.

Mishra is known for his anti-government stand and contested elections in 2007 against the then-chief minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar assembly constituency. 

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