#MeToo: Priya Ramani acquitted in criminal defamation case filed by MJ Akbar

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February 17, 2021 3:45 PM

The court also stated that Akbar was defamed after the publication of tweets. It said that Akbar is a man of reputation and that the content is not disputed by Priya Ramani. The court, however, said that a woman has the right to put her grievance even after decades.

Priya Ramani

A Delhi court today acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment, following which the latter filed a criminal defamation case. Passing the order, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey said that the allegations were malicious and defamatory publication by design.

The court also stated that Akbar was defamed after the publication of tweets. It said that Akbar is a man of reputation and that the content is not disputed by Priya Ramani. The court, however, said that a woman has the right to put her grievance even after decades.

Ramani was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign in India. In an article in 2017 and a tweet in 2018, she had alleged that Akbar had sexually harassed her during a job interview in 1994. After Ramani, 20 more women accused the former editor of sexual harassment during the time they had worked with him as journalists.

Akbar, however, termed the allegations ‘false, fabricated and deeply distressing’. The charges also led to his resignation as the MoS for External Affairs.

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