Priya Ramani defamation case: Was called media’s biggest sexual predator without research, probe, MJ Akbar to court

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By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 5, 2021 4:17:49 am

MJ Akbar and Priya Ramani. (File)

Former Union Minister M J Akbar on Monday argued that he was called “media’s biggest sexual predator” without research or investigation. He also accused journalist Priya Ramani of making a false statement before the court. Ramani has been sued by Akbar for defamation over allegations of sexual harassment. He resigned as MoS, External Affairs, in 2018 after several women made similar allegations against him. The case is at the stage of final arguments.

Referring to Ramani’s Vogue article and the line, “… as talented a predator as you were a writer”, Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra, representing Akbar, questioned the basis on which the conclusion was made. “When I read the accused’s statement, it does not show a single line of research carried out by her,” she said.

Referring to a tweet by Ramani regarding Akbar’s resignation on the basis of a news report, Luthra argued that Ramani made a false statement when she said she had written something under her tweet when she discovered that the then news of resignation was not correct. Ramani had later told the court that she could not find the clarification in her Twitter account.

“A journalist would normally care to verify this from the source. They could have checked up with the Ministry of External Affairs, they could have checked up with the complainant… that is the manner in which responsible journalism operates that you take both viewpoints and verify your source,” submitted Luthra.

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