#MeToo: MJ Akbar Files Defamation Case Against Journalist Priya Ramani

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MJ Akbar in a file photo.

Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar on Monday filed a defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani, a day after he dismissed multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him.

ANI reported that Akbar filed the defamation case against Ramani in New Delhi's Patiala House court.


Ramani was one of the first women to have accused Akbar of sexual harassment.

"That, while admitting that the Complainant has never done anything to her, the accused has intentionally put forward malicious, fabricated, and salacious imputations to harm the reputation of the Complainant," Akbar said accusing Ramani.

Akbar said that the "scandalous allegations leveled" by Ramani were "ex facie defamatory and have not only damaged his goodwill and reputation ...in his social circles and on the political stage, established after years of toil and hard work." The defamation plea said it also ruined Akbar's "personal reputation of in the community, friends, family and colleagues, thereby causing him irreparable loss and tremendous distress."

After returning from his trip to Nigeria on Sunday, Akbar refuted the allegations against him, calling them baseless and false. He also alleged that the accusations were politically motivated.

"Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not however name me as she knew it was an incorrect story. When asked recently why she had not named me, she replied, in a Tweet: "Never named him because he didn't 'do' anything."," Akbar said in his statement on Sunday.

Akbar also attacked journalist Ghazala Wahab, who had written an article for The Wire recounting her experience with him. He said, "Another accusation was made repeatedly by Ms Ghazala Wahab, in an effort to damage my reputation....

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