FORMER UNION Minister M J Akbar, who has filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, through his lawyers told a Delhi court on Tuesday that her allegations of sexual harassment were a figment of her imagination as it was not backed by any evidence.
Akbar has sued Ramani over allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. With several other women making similar allegations against him, Akbar resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs in October 2018.
The submissions were made by senior advocate Geeta Luthra on behalf of Akbar before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey. However, her rebuttal could not be completed and will be heard on January 14.
Referring to Ramani’s allegation relating to a sexual harassment incident, Luthra told the court, “Just by calling it my truth, doesn’t make it a truth… you haven’t proved whether you made a call to the complainant, you haven’t proved you met (Akbar).
“This version is a figment of imagination and not truth… After 30 years, you are trying to bring something without any evidence. It is all in the air,” Luthra said.
Stating that “whether you make a whisper that a person is a thief or a cheat” it has to be backed with evidence, Luthra told the court, “You have to have empirical evidence which can stand scrutiny in the court of law. There is no such evidence in this case. There is no investigation. These are just statements…”
While referring to the ‘Vogue’magazine article, Luthra told the court, “There are at least 10-20 places where the word ‘you’ has been used and clearly imputations and allegations are at a person described as ‘you’…there is no attribution to anyone as the author. There is nothing to show that these articles are proved as she doesn’t say anybody’s name.”
She reiterated that Ramani was the one who attacked Akbar first and there was no complaint against Akbar and that Ramani did not take any action despite legal provisionsin the IPC.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines