The cross-examination of M J Akbar’s witnesses in the criminal defamation case filed by the former Union minister against journalist Priya Ramani came to a close Friday at a Delhi court.
Akbar had resigned as a Minister of State after Ramani leveled allegations of sexual misconduct against him. He subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit against her.
On Friday, Joyeeta Basu, the editor of The Sunday Guardian, deposed before the court that she did give an interview to the digital edition of NewsX, in which she stated that her “relationship with Akbar was that of Guru and Shisya and I consider him to be my guru”.
She went on to tell the court, “I had suggested to Akbar that he should take legal action and that I was ready to support in whichever way he needed me to and it was in this context he requested me whether it was okay on my part to be a witness for him.”
The second witness, Manzar Ali, who has been working as a first personal assistant to Akbar for the last 25 years, was asked if he took the printouts and links of the tweets on being asked by Akbar, to which he replied in the affirmative.
Ramani will now give her statement to the court under Section 313 of the CrPC on August 23.