January 22, 2019:
On Tuesday, a Delhi court reserved for Jan 29 its order on whether to summon journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case.
The case was filed by former Union minister M J Akbar after she leveled allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal reserved the order after listening to arguments from Akbar’s lawyer, who said a prima facie case was made out against Ramani.
Akbar, who resigned as Union minister on Oct 17 last year, filed a private criminal defamation complaint 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, which was denied by him.
The court had on Jan 11 recorded the statements of three more witnesses in support of the case filed by Akbar.
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.
Ramani showed great guts to fight the case and 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.”