MJ Akbar Files Criminal Defamation Case Against Journalist Priya Ramani Over #MeToo

| October 15 , 2018 , 15:44 IST

Former Editor and currently the Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against journalist Priya Ramani who accused him of sexually harassing her, as a part of the ongoing #MeToo movement.

The criminal case comes a day after Akbar rejected all the sexual harassment allegations that had come out against him after the first accusation made by Priya Ramani.

The case has been filed against Ramani "seeking her prosecution and conviction, under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming the Complainant, on wholly and completely false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds and thereby, harming the goodwill and reputation of the Complainant, within the political fraternity, media, friends, family, colleagues and in society at large."

ALSO READ: Former Editor & Minister MJ Akbar Rejects All Sexual Harassment Allegations, To Take Legal Action

Priya Ramani on October 8 on Twitter that the anonymous 'male boss' she had accused of sexual harassment in October 2017, was M J Akbar.

"I began this piece with my MJ Akbar story. Never named him because he didn’t “do” anything. Lots of women have worse stories about this predator—maybe they’ll share," Ramani tweeted, along with a link to her original story.

MJ Akbar, in his statement on Sunday had claimed that Ramani did not name him as she 'knew' it was an incorrect story.

"Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not however name me as she knew it was an incorrect story. When asked recently why she had not named me, she replied, in a Tweet: “Never named him because he didn't 'do' anything." said Akbar.

"If I didn't do anything, where & what is the story? There's no story. But a sea of innuendo, speculation & abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened.  Some are total, unsubstantiated hearsay; others confirm, on the record, that I didn’t do anything," he said.

A former Congress MP who later joined the BJP, M J Akbar is founder of the national first weekly political news magazine, Sunday as well as 2 daily newspapers The Telegraph and The Asian Age. Since the allegations against him came out, the Opposition has demanded his resignation.

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