Updated: March 25, 2021 7:10:32 am
Former union Minister M J Akbar has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order acquitting journalist Priya Ramani in the defamation case filed by him in 2018 in connection with sexual harassment allegations against him. The plea will come up for hearing before a single bench of the High Court on Thursday.
Ramani was acquitted by by the trial court on February 17. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey had accepted her contention that Akbar is not a man of stellar reputation on the basis of testimonies presented before the court.
Akbar in the criminal defamation case against Ramani had accused her of damaging his reputation by way of tweets and articles published in print media and online. Ramani had levelled allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against Akbar during the time when the MeToo campaign had gained momentum in India.
She stood by her allegations during the trial and told the court that she spoke the truth when she disclosed her experience in the Vogue magazine article and her subsequent tweet in October 2018. Several other women had also levelled similar allegations against Akbar.
While acquitting Ramani, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pandey had said that the court takes into consideration the “systematic abuse at the workplace” which was prevalent, due to the lack of a mechanism to redress the grievance of sexual harassment, at the time of incident against Ramani and witness Ghazala Wahab.
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