"It'll Be My Turn To Tell My Story," Says Priya Ramani After Getting Bail In Defamation Suit Filed By MJ Akbar
“The truth is my defence,” said senior journalist Priya Ramani, who was yesterday granted bail by a Delhi court in connection with a defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar against her. She was granted bail on a surety of Rs 10,000 and was asked to appear again before the court on April 10, reported by NDTV.
Confident about the truth in her story, she said, “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.”
Last year during the #MeToo movement, journalist Priya Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct. She alleged that MJ Akbar first tried to sexually abuse her 20 years ago when he was an editor at AsianAge Newspaper. In 2018, she featured him in her article for a magazine, where she had the support of multiple women with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by Akbar. Following this, Akbar resigned from the Union Council of Minister on October 17, 2018, and filed a defamation case against Ms Ramani.
On the day of his resignation, 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.”
Terming the allegations false and fabricated, he said to the court that an “immediate damage” has been caused to him, reported The Times of India. He was being supported by six close people who played the role of his witness during Court’s hearing where they said that “they were shocked and dismayed after reading the tweets and that Akbar’s reputation has been lowered in their eyes,” reported News18.
Ramani was one of the 20 odd-female journalists including Ghazala Wahab, Shuma Raha, Anju Bharti and Shutapa Paul who claimed to work with Akbar in 1990s and are victims of Akbar’s sexual harassment. Among them, one woman is a United States-based journalist who claims that she was assaulted at a Jaipur hotel over 23 years ago. A number of senior journalists went to the court yesterday to support Priya Ramani while MJ Akbar was missing.
To defend his absence, Akbar’s lawyer opposed Ramani’s request for exemption from appearance in court and said that the politician would appear in court whenever the court wants him to. While the journalist’s advocate Rebecca John said, “Since the offence is bailable in nature, Ramani should be granted bail subject to furnishing personal bond and surety bond in the sum of Rs 10,000. The court accepted the application and the bond furnished.”