Refusing to list the case anytime before August, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday listed to August 11 hearing in the appeal by former Union Minister MJ Akbar challenging the acquittal of journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed by him over the "metoo" sexual harassment allegations made by her.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice Mukta Gupta however called for the record of the trial court with regards to the case in hand.
The development came after the Court was hearing Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra appearing on behalf of MJ Akbar who suggested the Bench to list the case to an earlier date from August.
"This is a special category case, your lordships. Kindly list this to some time before August." Luthra requested the Court.
Rejecting the aforesaid request, Justice Mukta Gupta orally remarked thus:
"This is not a special case. There are other important matters right now. Profiles of the clients do not matter. List this in August."
The matter was then posted for August 11 by the Court.
The criminal defamation case was filed by MJ Akbar in a Delhi Court in October 2018, after he was accused by several women of sexual harassment, following a tweet by Ramani as part of the '#MeToo' movement, revealing that the person referred to as a sexual harasser in an earlier article written by her in 'The Vogue' was Akbar.
A Delhi Court on February 17 acquitted Priya Ramani in the Case.
"Woman has a right to put up the grievance at any platform of her choice even after decades. Woman cannot be punished for raising voice agains sex abuse . Right to reputation cannot be protected at the cost of right to dignity", the trial Court observed while acquitting Priya Ramani in the case.
Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra represented Mr. MJ Akbar whereas Ms. Priya Ramani was represented by Senior Advocate Rebecca John before the Delhi Court.