Journalist Joyeeta Basu on Monday gave her statement in the criminal defamation case filed by former Minister of State (External Affairs) M J Akbar against another journalist Priya Ramani in the wake of sexual harassment charges against him.
“I’ve always held him in high regard. He has been professional in his dealings with me. He has always been a tough taskmaster, thoroughly professional and a brilliant teacher,” Basu said in her statement that was recorded in Delhi’s Patiala High Court, news agency ANI reported.
Last month, Akbar had filed the case against Ramani, stating that her alleged “defamatory articles” on him were a “figment of imagination” and “only” intended to “malign” his reputation. Amid the MeToo movement storm, Ramani named Akbar in a Twitter post on October 8, following which over ten other women also levelled sexual harassment allegations against him. However, Akbar filed the criminal defamation complaint only against Ramani.
The complaint had listed six witnesses: Joyeeta Basu, Editor; Veenu Sandal; Syed Habibur Rehman; Tapan Chaki; Sunil Gujral; and, Manzar Ali. Attached to the complaint were a list of documents comprising an article published in Vogue India, copies of “defamatory imputations” made on Twitter, and articles that appeared in newspapers and online news portals.
Since so many people are talking, hear my story too: @mjakbar has been one of the best bosses I have worked with. Learnt everything I know about newspapers from him. A tough taskmaster and a thorough professional. Never felt uncomfortable. NEVER. @PMOIndia @narendramodi
— Joyeeta Basu (@eeta) October 9, 2018
Speaking in defence of the former minister, Joyeeta had earlier said Akbar had been “one of the best bosses”, and that she had “never felt uncomfortable” with him. “Since so many people are talking, hear my story too: MJ Akbar has been one of the best bosses I have worked with. Learnt everything I know about newspapers from him. A tough taskmaster and a thorough professional. Never felt uncomfortable. NEVER,” she had tweeted on October 29.