New Delhi, 14 December: During the hearing on the defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani, it was said from the defense side that speaking about ‘Me Too’ is not a crime but it is a matter of courage.
On behalf of Priya Ramani, lawyer Rebecca John told the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey that no defamation has been done by speaking about it. The next hearing of the case will be held on December 18.
During the hearing, Rebecca John said that she believes that ‘Me Too’ gave women a platform. The campaign arrived in India in 2018.
She said that speaking on ‘Me Too’ is not a crime but it is a matter of courage. A contempt case should not be pursued against anyone for these things. Many women have spoken about it.
John said that many women spoke about MJ Akbar. She said that defense witness Gajala Wahab in his statement said that he had tweeted Priya Ramani on October 6, 2018. John said that Priya Ramani spoke in public interest.
During the hearing on December 10, Priya Ramani was told that she has held high editorial positions and her reputation is also similar to that of MJ Akbar.
Rebecca John said that her statements should be seen in the context of her image.
John said that Akbar has said that there was a ruckus after Ramani’s October 8, 2018 tweet. But even before this tweet, many young journalists had tweeted about Akbar. Ramani was not the first. Some women journalists also made allegations against other people. Those against whom charges were levelled hold large positions.
On December 5, Rebecca John stated that Akbar had agreed to her relationship with a woman 23 years ago. Akbar’s wife had said that her family’s life was destroyed by the woman’s public acceptance.
She said that we mean to say that a person who claims such a good image will do so. After all, how can he be in a relationship with a woman twenty years younger?
John said that Akbar does not even remember that the Delhi High Court had found him guilty of contempt. He has now become a politician, who was the first journalist.
MJ Akbar filed a criminal defamation suit against Priya Ramani on October 15, 2018.
He has filed a criminal defamation suit after Priya Ramani accused him of sexual harassment. On October 18, the court took cognizance of MJ Akbar’s criminal defamation petition.
On February 25, 2019, the court granted bail to journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister and journalist MJ Akbar.
The court granted bail to Priya Ramani on a personal bond of ten thousand rupees. The court had framed charges against Priya Ramani on April 10, 2019.