#MeToo: Journalist Who Accused M J Akbar Of Sexual Harassment Summoned By Court In Defamation Case By Him
It might look like the #MeToo movement has subsided over the time. However, the many courageous women who rose up in the movement are still fighting the battle. On January 29, Tuesday the Delhi court summoned journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union Minister M J Akbar.
The defamation case against Ramani came after she had accused Akbar of sexual harassment and misconduct in a series of tweets in October 2018. Ramani’s allegation was followed by several other accusing the minister of sexual misconduct. On October 17, last year Akbhar had to resign from his cabinet position in Modi’s’ government after the uproar against him during the #MeToo campaign in India.
According to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal issued the direction on a petition filed by a journalist-turned-politician, MJ Akbar. Akbhar who has an influential backing has senior advocate Geeta Luthra and lawyer Sandeep Kapur in his legal team.
His team earlier had told the court that Ms Ramani had damaged Akbar’s reputation, reported The Indian Express.
‘Waiting for justice’
Just hours after Delhi court gave a summon order, Priya Ramani responded on Twitter with a smiley emoticon. She said, “Time to tell our side of the story,” she said shortly.
Time to tell our side of the story https://t.co/q5H9jTZ4UJ
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) January 29, 2019
As women we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar’s resignation.
I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court #metoo
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 17, 2018
During the #MeToo campaign, Ramani was one of the first ones to speak against M J Akbar, following which many other women also came forward to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment. The women who accused him include Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Shutapa Paul, Ghazala Wahab, Prerna Singh Bindra, Anju Bharti, Kanika Gahlout, Ruth David, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Kadambari M Wade.
On October 8, 2018, she tweeted, “I began this piece with my MJ Akbar story. Never named him because he didn’t “do” anything. Lots of women have worse stories about this predator-maybe they’ll share.”
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 8, 2018
The Minister calls them false acquisitions
Reportedly, on Sunday, October 14, upon his arrival from Nigeria, MJ Akbar released a statement and said he will take legal action against the accusers. Amid increasing calls for his resignation, he initially refrained from talking about stepping down from office.
Calling the allegations against him ”false and fabricated”, he said that “Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections.”