Journalist Priya Ramani, facing trial in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar, has through her lawyers disputed his claims of having a stellar reputation before a Delhi court.
Ramani’s lawyer Rebecca John was making her final arguments before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Pandey on Saturday. Her arguments could not be concluded and will be heard on December 10.
Akbar has sued Ramani for defamation over allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. With several women coming forward with similar allegations, Akbar had resigned as MoS External Affairs.
John had referred to an article in Firstpost annexed by Akbar in his complaint and told the court that the article featured embedded tweets of multiple women making allegations against Akbar. “When Akbar filed the complaint against me there were many women who made allegations against him but he chose to file the case only against Ramani. He knew there were other women and he knew about it,” John told the court.
John relied on several judgments to argue that this Firstpost article can be used by the defence. She read Akbar’s statement to ANI denying rape allegations made by journalist Pallavi Gogoi and his wife’s statement on the allegations. John told the court that the “purpose of exhibiting these documents is to dispute his claims that he had a stellar reputation. He himself says that he was in a consensual relationship which was hampering his family life. Is this the conduct of a man with sterling reputation?”
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