Next week, a Delhi Court to decide if the former Union Minister MJ Akbar’s defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani merits a trial and whether she should be called as a convict. Under the law, defamation carries a punishment of 2-years imprisonment or fine or both. In the suit of a negative decision on January 29, Mr. Akbar can appeal in a higher court.
Mr. Akbar was alleged of sexual misconduct by Ms. Ramani, which she said took almost 20 years ago. Her Twitter post amid last years’ #MeToo wave in the country had opened the gates with more than a dozen women stepped forward with similar allegations against him.
In October’s 41-page defamation case, MJ Akbar accused that Ms. Ramani’s tweets and an article has spoiled his goodwill and reputation built more than 40-years and he took the decision to quit his job as the junior foreign minister in PM Modi’s government.
His lawyers said that Ms. Ramani’s tweets and a newspaper article were widely read and even considered by foreign media.
Mr. Akbar’s petition reads, “Whilst it is apparent that the accused has resorted to a series of maliciously serious allegations which she is diabolically and viciously spreading in media, it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (Akbar) is being circulated in a motivated manner for the fulfillment of an agenda.”
On Tuesday, in their closing arguments at the Delhi Court, MJ Akbar’s lawyers repeated statement said by the former editor and six witnesses, who exclaims him as a ‘gentleman’. Meanwhile, his neighbors, colleagues, and friend all said that they had never heard any negative word against him before.
Adjourning the MJ Akbar’s defamation suit, the Delhi Court said that it would give its final verdict on January 29.