On Wednesday, Journalist Priya Ramani pleaded not guilty as the Delhi High Court has imposed charges against her on the defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar, reports source. She was impeached for defamation by Mr. Akbar over her allegations of sexual assertion during #MeToo movement.
After granted bail about 2-months ago, the journalist told reporters that “the next date when they will frame the charges against me is April 10. After that, it will be my turn to tell my story. The truth is my defence.” Ms. Ramani was represented in the court by senior advocate Rebecca John, who highlighted the absence of Mr. Akbar in the court.
On May 4, the court will hear the next case. It further granted a permanent exemption to the journalist from personal appearance, reported source.
Journalist Priya Ramani was the first among a number of women, who alleged MJ Akbar of sexual harassment during his regime, forces him o resign as a junior Foreign Minister in PM Modi’s Cabinet on October 17, 2018. The day Mr. Akbar has resigned, Ms. Ramani tweeted: “As women, we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar’s resignation. I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court.”
His legal team had informed the court that Ms. Ramani has damaged his reputation by imposing “false, wild and baseless allegations”.
Among those who alleged Mr. Akbar of sexual misconduct is a US-based journalist, who claimed that Ms. Ramani was sexually harassed at a hotel in Jaipur around 23-years-ago, followed by “sexual, verbal and emotional” defilement. When Mr. Akbar claims that there was a consensual affair between them, Ms. Ramani informed that a relationship “based on coercion and abuse of power” cannot be expressed in such terms.