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Home Crime Delhi court frames charges against Priya Ramani in defamation case filed by MJ Akbar,...

Delhi court frames charges against Priya Ramani in defamation case filed by MJ Akbar, the journalist pleads ‘not guilty’

The court will hear the case next on May 4. It also granted a permanent exemption to Ramani from personal appearance.

In the latest development in the high profile defamation case filed by former union minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Raman a Delhi court framed charges against the journalist today. The defamation case was filed against her by MJ Akbar after she had accused him of sexual harassment in the wake of the #Metoo movement which gathered considerable attention last year.

The journalist, however, appearing before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The court will hear the case next on May 4. It also granted a permanent exemption to Ramani from personal appearance, PTI reported.

Former Minister of State for External Affair MJ Akbar had filed a defamation case against Ramani after she, and many others accused him of sexual harassment in October last year. He had dismissed the allegations made by her against him as ‘false and fabricated’ and ‘malicious’.

On 22nd of January, the Court had reserved its order on whether to summon Ramani as an accused in the defamation case.

Later, Ramani was ordered to appear before the Court on 25th February, when she was granted bail on a surety of Rs.10,000 and was asked to appear before the court again today. “The next date when they will frame the charges against me is April 10. After that, it will be my turn to tell my story. The truth is my defence,” she had told reporters after she got bail nearly two months ago.

Priya Ramani was one of the first among a number of women who accused MJ Akbar of sexual misconduct during his time as a media personality. 20 women had pledged to testify sexual misconduct by the veteran editor during his stint in The Telegraph and The Asian Age. The list includes Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlis de Puy Kamp, and Ruth David.

He had resigned from his post in the government after they accused him of sexual misconduct. The allegations had caused quite a furore in the media in the wake of the #Metoo movement gathering storm in the country.

Akbar had stated in court that he had worked for four decades to build a stellar reputation and that has suffered damage because of the “Scurrilous nature of the false and concocted allegations.”

Defending his resignation on the raging #MeToo controversy, MJ Akbar also stated in the court that there was immediate damage to his reputation because of the obscene nature of the concocted accusations levelled against him and that he voluntarily resigned from the post for seeking justice in his personal capacity.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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