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"Speaking The Truth Is Not Defamatory": Priya Ramani Submits Before Delhi Court Hearing Defamation Case By MJ Akbar

Shreya Agarwal
10 Dec 2020 1:56 PM GMT
Speaking The Truth Is Not Defamatory: Priya Ramani Submits Before Delhi Court Hearing Defamation Case By MJ Akbar
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A Court in Delhi today continued hearing final arguments in former BJP leader MJ Akbar's defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani. The court is re-hearing final arguments after the previous judge hearing the matter was transferred.Making submissions on behalf of Ramani, Sr. Adv. Rebecca John submitted referred to the relevant portions of Ramani's cross examination and stated that...

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A Court in Delhi today continued hearing final arguments in former BJP leader MJ Akbar's defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani. The court is re-hearing final arguments after the previous judge hearing the matter was transferred.

Making submissions on behalf of Ramani, Sr. Adv. Rebecca John submitted referred to the relevant portions of Ramani's cross examination and stated that she was doing so to "correlate the essential elements from Ramani's testimony before court". John pressed that unlike the complainant Akbar, whose submission of having a "sterling reputation" she contested, her client Ramani indeed enjoyed sterling reputation, being a woman who has "worked at top editorial positions" and is "internationally recognised".
John submitted that Ramani has occupied high position in journalism and that her statement needs to be viewed in context of her reputation because she has no long term animosity with Akbar.
John also elaborated her contention that Ramani's defense was based on "her truth" and that she was an honest witness, with no ambiguity or breaks in her testimony. Referring to Ramani's article, John reiterated that the entire article was not about Akbar.
She said, "There are few accused persons, who without any contestation, will admit three tweets and an article. We came forward and admitted these are by us."
She also contended that as opposed to Akbar's submission that Ramani's tweet had opened the floodgates to allegations against him, Ramani was infact not the first one.
John also referred to Ramani's friend, Nilofer Venkatraman's message to her in context of what had happened with Ramani 20 years ago. John said that the message was shown to the previous judge. She contended that Nilofer's message to Ramani dated 08.10.2018 was much before Akbar filed a complaint against Ramani on 18.10.2018 and it corroborated her truth.
John also submitted that nearly 20 women were ready to come out and testify in her favor and that her quitting Twitter was a voluntary participation. She refuted the objection that her Twitter account was "case property".
She highlighted that Akbar had not touched the incident of the hotel room, and that there seemed to be a "strange anxiety" to not touch it.


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