Former Union Minister MJ Akbar has appealed in the Delhi High Court challenging the acquittal of journalist Priya Ramani in the defamation case. Akbar filed the case against Ramani in 2018 in connection to the sexual harassment allegations against him. The High Court will hear the matter on Thursday.
Acquittal of Priya Ramani
On February 17 this year, a Delhi Session Court had acquitted Ramani in the defamation case. During the judgment, the court observed that a man of social status could also be a sexual harasser. It further added that the woman has the right to put her grievance even after decades. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey said during delivering the judgement that sexual abuse takes away dignity and self-confidence. Thus, the right to reputation cannot be protected at the cost of the right to dignity.
The court said The society must understand the impact of sexual abuse and harassment on its victims.” It added that the defendant had the rights under Article 21 that is guaranteed under the Constitution, and she has the right to put up her case on the platform of her choice.
The case against Priya Ramani
In 2018, during the #MeToo moment, journalist Priya Ramani alleged that Akbar sexually harassed her when she was 23. Akbar, then serving as MoS, resigned from the Union Cabinet on October 17, 2018. Akbar filed a defamation case against her in 2019, to which Ramani had pleaded not guilty.