#MeToo: MJ Akbar moves HC against Ramani acquittal order

4 months ago 37
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NEW DELHI: Former Union minister

M J Akbar

has moved the Delhi high court challenging a

trial court

order acquitting journalist

Priya Ramani

in the criminal defamation case filed against her over the

allegations

of sexual harassment. The HC is likely to hear his appeal on Thursday.
Akbar has challenged the findings and observations made against him that were recorded by the trial court in its order while acquitting Ramani. Akbar’s plea is listed before Justice

Mukta Gupta

in which he has assailed the trial court order.
The ex-minister’s appeal questions the logic of the trial court in the ruling against him even though it admits that the content cited by him is “defamatory in nature”.
The trial court had also rejected Ramani’s argument that only a part of her article in a magazine referred to the former editor. The trial court had, however, found

prima facie

merit in her claim that Akbar harassed her and noted that a woman has the right to put grievances before any platform of her choice even after decades.
The trial court had dismissed the

complaint

filed by Akbar, saying that no charges were proved against Ramani. It had also observed it is shameful that crimes against women are taking place in a country where mega epics like Mahabharata and

Ramayana

were written about respecting them.
Ramani had made allegations of sexual misconduct against Akbar in the wake of #MeToo movement in 2018. Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani on October 15 that year for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago. Two days after filing the complaint, he had resigned as a Union minister.

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