24 March 2021 4:22 PM GMT
Former Union Minister MJ Akbar has moved Delhi High Court challenging acquittal of journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed by him over the "metoo" sexual harassment allegations made by her.A Delhi Court on February 17 acquitted Priya Ramani in the Case.Justice Mukta Gupta will hear the matter tomorrow."Woman has right to put her grievance at a platform of her choice...
Former Union Minister MJ Akbar has moved Delhi High Court challenging acquittal of journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed by him over the "metoo" sexual harassment allegations made by her.
A Delhi Court on February 17 acquitted Priya Ramani in the Case.
Justice Mukta Gupta will hear the matter tomorrow.
"Woman has right to put her grievance at a platform of her choice even after decades", the trial Court observed while acquitting Priya Ramani in the case.
It also observed that a man of social status can also be a sexual harasser.
"Sexual abuse takes away dignity and self confidence. Right of reputation can't be protected at the cost of right to dignity", the Court held.
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.
The then Minister of State for External Affairs, Akbar initiated the defamation case after a slew of allegations of sexual harassment followed against him after Ramani's tweet. His case is that before Ramani's alleged defamatory tweet, he had enjoyed a "stellar reputation" in the society, which was damaged following her tweet and therefore she was liable for criminal defamation. Akbar has also claimed that Ramani's tweet had led to a social media trial against him, something that cannot be permitted in a lawful society.
Ramani, on her part, has claimed public interest, public good, and truth as her defense and argued that one accused of sexual misconduct cannot in the first place claim to have a stellar reputation, therefore was no question arising of the reputation being destroyed and defamation having occurred against Akbar.
Ramani was summoned by the Court in the case in January 2019 and released on bail in February 2019.
The arguments were earlier completed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja. However, following his transfer to the Karkardooma Court in November 2020, the final arguments started again before ACMM Ravindra Kumar Pandey. The recording of evidence of the witnesses was done before ACMM Pahuja.
When ACMM Pandey took charge of the case, he had asked the parties if there was a chance to compromise. However, Ramani said that she was standing by her statements and refused to settle the matter.