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Delhi Court to Pronounce Order on Summoning Priya Ramani in Defamation Case by MJ Akbar

Akbar, who resigned as Union minister on October 17, had filed a private criminal defamation complaint through advocate Sandeep Kapur against Ramani after his name cropped up on social media when he was in Nigeria as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India.

PTI

Updated:January 22, 2019, 11:50 PM IST
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Delhi Court to Pronounce Order on Summoning Priya Ramani in Defamation Case by MJ Akbar
File photo of MJ Akbar.
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New Delhi: A Delhi court will pronounce its order on January 29 on the issue of summoning journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar for levelling allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal reserved the order after concluding the arguments from Akbar's lawyer, who contended that "prima facie" a case was made out against Ramani.

Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Akbar, said that "because of these articles and tweets (by Ramani), a number of people formed opinion about me (Akbar) which defamed my reputation."

Akbar, who resigned as Union minister on October 17, had filed a private criminal defamation complaint through advocate Sandeep Kapur against Ramani after his name cropped up on social media when he was in Nigeria as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India.

Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago, which was denied by him.

The court had on January 11 recorded the statements of three more witnesses in support of the case filed by Akbar.

The three witnesses — Tapan Chaki, Manjar Ali and Rachna Grover — who were associated with Akbar deposed before the court, saying they were extremely "distressed and dismayed" as grave damage has been caused to his reputation due to the allegations.

It had earlier recorded the statements of Akbar and Joyeeta Basu, the editor of Sunday Guardian, in the matter.

Akbar had told the court in his statement that an "immediate damage" has been caused to him due to the scurrilous, concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct.

Multiple women have come out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him while he was working as a journalist.

He had termed the allegations "false, fabricated and deeply distressing" and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them.

Expressing her readiness to fight the defamation allegations, Ramani had said, "Rather than engage with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment."

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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