#MeToo: Court to hear Akbar's defamation case against Priya Ramani on Nov 10

·2-min read

New Delhi, Nov 2 (PTI) A Delhi court will resume on November 10 the hearing of final arguments in the criminal defamation complaint filed by former Union minister M J Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vishal Pahuja, who had earlier sent the matter to Principal District and Sessions Judge seeking its transfer to another court, fixed the date for hearing after both the parties appeared before him, Akbar's advocate Sandeep Kapur said.

District and Sessions Judge Sujata Kohli had on October 22 sent the matter back to the ACMM.

The ACMM, who had started hearing the final arguments in the case on February 7 this year, had sent the matter to District and Sessions judge, saying the case in hand was not filed against MP or MLA and needs to be transferred to the 'Competent Court of Jurisdiction'.

Pahuja had said the court of ACMM was designated to try the cases filed against the lawmakers by a circular passed on February 23, 2018 and since this case was “not filed against MP/MLA”, he was marking the matter to Principal District and Sessions Judge to consider re-assigning the case to another Metropolitan Magistrate.

Akbar had filed the criminal defamation complaint against Ramani in March 2018.

In the wake of #MeToo movement, Ramani in 2018 accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist.

Akbar resigned as Union minister on October 17, 2018.

Akbar had earlier told the court that Ramani had defamed him by calling him with adjectives such as 'media's biggest predator' that harmed his reputation.

He denied all the allegations of sexual harassment against the women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him.

Several women came up with accounts of the alleged sexual harassment by M J Akbar him while they were working as journalists under him.

He has termed the allegations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them. PTI UK SA