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Rebecca John Concludes Arguments For Priya Ramani In MJ Akbar's Defamation Case

Shreya Agarwal
18 Dec 2020 4:52 PM GMT
Rebecca John Concludes Arguments For Priya Ramani In MJ Akbars Defamation Case
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Journalist Priya Ramani today concluded her defense arguments before a Delhi Court today in a defamation case booked against her by former BJP leader MJ Akbar for allegedly making defamatory publications against him during the Me Too movement in India.Sr. Adv. Rebecca John, appearing for Ramani, submitted her concluding defense arguments today.Pressing home the point that Akbar had not come...

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Journalist Priya Ramani today concluded her defense arguments before a Delhi Court today in a defamation case booked against her by former BJP leader MJ Akbar for allegedly making defamatory publications against him during the Me Too movement in India.

Sr. Adv. Rebecca John, appearing for Ramani, submitted her concluding defense arguments today.
Pressing home the point that Akbar had not come to Court with clean hands as a complainant, John asked, "Was it not incumbent upon Akbar to make disclosure about the fact that as on the date he registered his defamation complaint in October 2018, there were a series of serious allegations already made against him?"
John argued that whether Akbar believed the allegations or not, it was his duty to disclose that there were other allegations pending against him, at the time that he brought the complaint against Ramani.
Referring to her friend, Nilofer Venkatraman's message to her, immediately following her tweet, on which Ramani has placed heavy reliance, John said that she had already shown the presiding judge her phone to show Nilofer's message. John then prayed for overruling of certain objections raised to Priya Ramani's evidence.
Citing Arjun Pandit Rao Photkar's judgment, John said that the Hon'ble Apex Court in this case had already expressed the view that CDRs be saved beyond the period of 1 year.
Lauding Ramani's defense, John said that she had taken a consistent, robust defense in the matter.
Speaking up against the treatment that has been meted out to her after coming out about her experience with Akbar, she said, "It was not easy for her to speak up, it took a toll on her."
Once again questioning Akbar's claim of a sterling reputation, John relied upon witness statements and argued that some admissions made by Akbar himself severely dented his reputation.
Referring to Ghazala Wahab's testimony, she submitted that Wahab and Ramani were not known to each other or even friends, and that in fact, the incidents were also from different time zones, 1993 and 1997 and this fact made Wahab's evidence in favor of Ramani and against Akbar that much more credible.
Addressing arguments on the issue of reputation, John argued that the women who made the complaints against Akbar were themselves professionals with high standing and impeccable reputation.
She said, "I'm asking myself a question, for which I've received no answer. Why was Priya Ramani singled out?"
The case has been posted for further hearing on Dec 22 and Dec 24.


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