Journalist Priya Ramani has advised a Delhi courtroom listening to a felony defamation grievance filed by former union minister MJ Akbar towards her that there was “deliberate” and “mischievous” misreading of her article wherein she wrote concerning the alleged sexual harassment incident.
Ms Ramani, who had accused MJ Akbar of sexual misconduct round 20 years in the past, acknowledged this by senior advocate Rebecca John through the closing listening to of the matter.
She claimed that she has spoken the reality concerning the allegations towards Akbar, made within the wake of the #MeToo motion in 2018, in good religion, which associated to public curiosity and was not defamatory.
MJ Akbar had filed the grievance towards Priya Ramani for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct round 20 years in the past when he was a journalist.
The courtroom has put up the matter for additional listening to on December 14.
Ms John stated solely the primary 4 paragraphs of the article within the journal was about MJ Akbar and the remainder of it was about different male bosses.
“(MJ) Akbar was creating unnecessary controversy before the court by misreading an article in the way it was not written. There has been deliberate and mischievous misreading of the Vogue article. Ramani has explained the context that only the first four paragraphs relate to Akbar and not the whole article,” Ms John advised Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Ravindra Kumar Pandey.
The senior advocate additional stated if MJ Akbar claimed to have “sterling reputation”, then her assertion must also be considered in context of her repute.
“(Priya) Ramani is a credible witness, a journalist of repute and stature, occupying senior positions in news media and not trying to waste the time of the court in any manner when she forthrightly admitted the publication of her tweet and her article. Her credibility stands established beyond a shadow of doubt.
“I additionally say that not simply the reality, Ramani has been in a position to show good religion additionally as a result of there was no recklessness within the method wherein she has advised her story. She shouldn’t be the one one who has come out together with her painful story towards Akbar,” John submitted.
She further said that Ramani worshipped MJ Akbar’s work while growing up and hence there was no old enmity with him.
“She was solely 23 years previous when the incident occurred and therefore being of such a younger age she didn’t know the best way to say no. Ramani’s tweets can’t be learn in isolation from all these different tweets and tales made on the identical time,” the senior counsel said.
Ms John said Ms Ramani has also been attacked on the ground that there has been delay in reporting the allegations but there was no redressal mechanism in 1993-94, when the incident happened.
“Sexual harassment on the work place is a matter of public curiosity. It has been recognised as a violation of the basic rights of ladies. I’ve spoken my reality and stated it in good religion and my reality pertains to public curiosity. It shouldn’t be defamatory,” she said.
Ms Ramani had earlier said that MJ Akbar did not have a “sterling repute” as claimed by him. She had claimed before the court that a number of women have accused Akbar of sexual misconduct and, by his own account, he was having a consensual relationship while he was married to someone else, which was not a sterling reputation.
“He (MJ Akbar) himself says he was in a consensual relationship (with certainly one of his juniors, who, through the #MeToo motion, accused him of rape) which was hampering his household life. Is this the conduct of the person with a sterling repute? As a person who’s married to another person, he’s having a consensual relationship…”
“At least 15-16 girls tweeted towards Akbar. Akbar was, in accordance with himself, in a relationship with a junior who was 20 years youthful… this isn’t sterling repute,” Ms John said.
She had claimed in the court that many women had made allegations against MJ Akbar but he chose to file the case against only Ms Ramani. “He knew there have been different girls… he has admitted earlier than the courtroom about studying an article which carried allegations by a number of girls,” she said.
MJ Akbar filed the complaint against Priya Ramani on October 15, 2018. He resigned as union minister on October 17, 2018.
MJ Akbar had earlier told the court that Priya Ramani had defamed him by calling him with adjectives such as “media’s greatest predator” that harmed his repute. He has denied all of the allegations of sexual harassment made towards him by the ladies who got here ahead through the #MeToo marketing campaign.
Over 20 girls got here up with accounts of the alleged sexual harassment by MJ Akbar whereas they have been working as journalists below him. He termed the allegations false, fabricated and deeply distressing and stated he was taking acceptable authorized motion towards them.