#MeToo: Delhi court acquits Priya Ramani in M J Akbar's criminal defamation case

Udayan Kishor
·2-min read

New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) A Delhi court Wednesday acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in M J Akbar's criminal defamation case against her over the allegations of sexual harassment, saying a woman has the right to put grievances before any platform of her choice even after decades.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey dismissed the complaint filed by Akbar saying that no charges were proved against her.

The court said 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.

The court asked Ramani to furnish a bail bond of Rs 10,000 in case an appeal is preferred against the order.

Reacting to the verdict, Ramani said that it feels great to have truth validated before the court.

'It was me the victim who had to stand up in the court as an accused. I thank everyone who stood by me especially my witnesses Ghazala Wahab who came to the court and testified on my behalf .

'I thanks the court for the verdict and I thanks my lawyer Rebecca John and the amazing team who believed in me and the wider cause. They put their heart and soul in the case,' Ramani said after the verdict.

Observing that even a man of social status can be a sexual harasser, the court said that woman has right to put grievance before any platform of her choice and even after decades.

Glass ceiling will not prevent Indian women as roadblock in advancement in society of equal opportunities, it said.

The court on February 1 had reserved the judgment.

Ramani had made an allegation of sexual misconduct against Akbar in the wake of #MeToo movement in 2018.

Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani on October 15, 2018, for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago.

He resigned as Union minister on October 17, 2018.

He has denied all the allegations of sexual harassment against the women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him. PTI UK PKS SJK RKS RKS