#MeToo: MJ Akbar and Alok Nath sue their accusers for defamation

Facing allegations of sexual harassment, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar has taken a legal course to prove his innocence and has filed a defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani in Delhi’s Patiala Court.

According to ANI, M J Akbar has filed a defamation case through his lawyers Karanjawala & Co. against the journalist Priya Ramani. The veteran journalist had earlier dismissed all the allegations of sexual misconduct against him as ‘false and fabricated’ and ‘malicious’.

The Minister of State for External Affairs had accused Ramani of “willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously” defaming him and has sought her prosecution under the penal provision on defamation, PTI reported.

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MJ Akbar was accused by several former women colleagues for sexual misconduct against him when he was serving in senior editorial positions in a number of media organisations in the past. M J Akbar was on an official foreign tour when these accusations were levelled against him. He returned to India on Sunday and issued a lengthy statement.

The Union Minister upon his arrival here from a week-long tour to Africa had broken his silence on the issue and had said that the accusers were lying. He had earlier said he would take the future course of legal action against the women who had accused Akbar of sexually harassing them.

However, despite speculations of resignation M J Akbar over the allegations, he is yet to resign from his ministerial post. M J Akbar has further questioned about the motives of the victims and called the accusations as “false, baseless and wild allegations” to bring irreparable damage to his reputation and goodwill.

Veteran actor Alok Nath also has filed a defamation case against writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who had accused him of raping her almost two decades ago.

The actor has sought a written apology from Vinta Nanda and ₹ 1 (Rupee one) as compensation. Earlier, Alok Nath’s wife had submitted before Andheri Magistrate court allegation defamation by Vinta Nanda. According to Ashu, Vinta was holding grudges against Alok Nath because she thought her serial was shut down because of him. “For one reason or the other, the said serial had gone off the air after the change in the star cast and storyline. It seems she has been carrying an impression that because of Alok Nath, the artists and storyline were required to be changed and the said serial had gone off the air and accordingly, she has been holding grievances against him.” Ashu had claimed.

The complaint also stated that after the allegations were made against Alok Nath, she and her husband were terrorised, as when they go out, people have been looking at them with a “different attitude”. The petition had requested the court to direct the police to investigate the issue.

Taking their case further, today the actor filed a separate civil defamation suit against Nanda, albeit with a twist. While the trend is to file defamation suits for hundreds of crores, Alok Nath has sought only one Rupee as compensation.


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