A Delhi court on Tuesday reserved for January 29 its order on whether to summon journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar.
Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment and misconduct in a series of tweets in October. Several other women had also levelled such allegations against him. After resigning as Union minister on October 17 last year, Akbar filed a defamation lawsuit against Ramani.
To establish that Ramani’s tweets and publication resulted in his reputation being tarnished, Akbar recorded the statement of six witnesses before the court. The six persons, who were closely associated with Akbar at a professional and personal level, deposed that they were “shocked” and “dismayed” after reading the tweets and that Akbar’s reputation had been lowered in their eyes.
The evidence was recorded by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal. After concluding the submissions from Akbar’s lawyer, who contended that “prima facie” a case was made out against Ramani, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate reserved his order.
Ramani’s allegations of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago were denied by Akbar. In his statement recorded in the court on October 31 last year, he had said, “Indeed there was an immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of these concocted and false allegations.”