US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi refuted former Union Minister MJ Akbar’s claim of having a "consensual relationship” with him and wrote on Twitter, “A relationship that is based on coercion, and abuse of power, is not consensual. I stand by every word in my published account.”
Akbar, who had to recently resign from the post of Minister of State for External Affairs after multiple sexual harassment allegations, denied the rape allegations levelled against him by the journalist and had claimed that he had a "consensual relationship" spanning several months with her but it ended "perhaps not on the best note".
Akbar's wife Mallika Akbar also broke her silence for the first time since accusations were levelled against her husband, saying that while she doesn't know Pallavi's reasons for telling this lie, it is a lie nevertheless.
US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, in a piece written for The Washington Post, accused MJ Akbar of raping her and threatening her with consequences if she refused the advances made at her, when she worked with him at The Asian Age.
- Gogoi said Akbar defiled her sexually, verbally and emotionally
- Gogoi also wrote about how she was in distress and couldn’t fight back
- Earlier, over a dozen journalists accused Akbar of sexual misconduct and harassment
- Akbar, who resigned as MoS for External Affairs, filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani
Akbar Files Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani in Delhi's Patiala House Court
Union Minister MJ Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against journalist Priya Ramani.
Mj Akbar vs Priya Ramani by on Scribd
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
MJ Akbar Wants to Silence Victims With Intimidation: Priya Ramani
Priya Ramani issued a statement against the defamation case filed by MJ Akbar against her, saying, that he has made his stand clear with it. She also said that Akbar intends to silence the victims with intimidation and harassment.
MJ Akbar Has Given His Stand: JP Nadda
Union Minister MJ Akbar has "given his stand" on the sexual harassment allegations against him, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said Monday.
"MJ Akbar has spoken yesterday itself. He has given his stand and he is going for a legal course of action", he said responding to questions on the issue at a press conference.
Criminal Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani to be Heard on 18 Oct
Delhi's Patiala House court has listed the matter of the defamation case filed by MJ Akbar against Priya Ramani for 18 October.
Former Catch News Reporter Initiates Online Petition Seeking Akbar's Removal
Priyata Brajabasi, formerly a reporter with Catch News initiated a change.org petition seeking MJ Akbar’s removal as Minister of State for External Affairs.
The petition asks BJP President Amit Shah to expel Akbar from the party.
You Got Up, Grabbed Me and Kissed Me Hard: Another Journalist Calls Out Akbar
Tushita Patel, a journalist, has accused MJ Akbar of sexually harassing her multiple times in the 1990s. Patel called out Akbar in an article she wrote for Scroll and narrated he experiences with Akbar.
“ When I reached your room, you were sullen, sitting there drinking tea and in a vile mood. You started yelling at me about being late, about my work. I was trying to mumble some words. Suddenly you got up, grabbed me and kissed me hard – your stale tea breath and your bristly moustache are still etched in the recesses of my memory. ” she wrote in the article.
“When you couldn’t find me, you desperately sent out a search party. At some point, someone found me. Akbar saab is looking for you. Heavy with dread, I waited till it was almost time for your flight and met you at the most public of areas in the office – near the reception. You said chirpily, “Where did you disappear? I’ve been looking for you – we have to discuss your page.” And with that you ushered me into the empty conference room, grabbed me again and kissed me,” she wrote while narrating another instance.
Twenty Women Journalists Come Out in Support of Ramani; to Testify Against Akbar
Nineteen women journalists who have worked with The Asian Age came out in support of their colleague Priya Ramani through a joint statement issued by them. One journalist from Deccan Chronicle, Christina Francis (2005-2011), also signed the statement.
Meenal Baghel (1993 to 1996), Manisha Pande (1993-1998), Tushita Patel (1993-2000), Kanika Gahlaut (1995-1998), Suparna Sharma (1993-1996), Ramola Talwar Badam (1994-1995), Hoihnu Hauzel (1999-2000), Aisha Khan (1995-1998) and Kushalrani Gulab (1993-1997) have signed the statement.
Kaniza Gazari (Asian Age 1995-1997), Malavika Banerjee (1995-1998), A T Jayanthi (1995-1996), Hamida Parkar (1996-1999), Jonali Buragohain, Meenakshi Kumar (1996-2000), Sujata Dutta Sachdeva (1999-2000), Reshmi Chakraborty (1996-98), Kiran Manral (1993-96) and Sanjari Chatterjee are the other journalists to sign the statement.
The journalists have urged the court to hear their testimonies against Akbar.
Former Asian Age Journalists Akshaya Mukul, Rasheed Kidwai, and Kamlesh Singh Speak Out in Support of the Survivors
Author Akshaya Mukul and Rasheed Kidwai, former journalists at The Asian Age, have spoken in support of the survivors who have accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment.
I too worked in Asian Age features team, 1994-95. I know what many women colleagues had to go through. I trust each and every word of @ghazalawahab @SuparnaSharma @writemeenal @TushitaPatel @priyaramani and endless others who might recount their harrowing experience #MeToo https://t.co/j6m1YpVF1c— Akshaya Mukul (@Akshayamukul) October 17, 2018
Kamlesh Singh, another former journalist, came out in support as well.
I worked at the Asian Age with @TushitaPatel @prernabindra @ghazalawahab @SuparnaSharma @RuthsDavid @kanikagahlaut @kadambarim @writemeenal.— Kamlesh Singh | Bana de Lohagarh (@kamleshksingh) October 17, 2018
I trust them and believe every word they have said and stand with @priyaramani, who now faces the might of a minister of state. #TimesUp
Congress Attacks BJP’s Silence on MJ Akbar
The Congress on Wednesday attacked the BJP’s silence on allegations against MJ Akbar, and said that the party’s indifference establishes BJP’s ‘underlying patriarchy and indifference to justice’.
20 women journalists released a statement against MJ Akbar’s systemic harassment - PM Modi & his govt. still haven’t uttered a word. Their silence further establishes the BJP’s underlying patriarchy & their indifference towards justice. https://t.co/Q5BHW2DC5v— Congress (@INCIndia) October 17, 2018
All India Mahila Congress also attacked Sambit Patra for ignoring a question on MJ Akbar.
एक तरफ नारी शक्ति की बात करते है और दूसरी तरफ @mjakbar पर उठ रहे #metoo सवालो पर @BJP4India के रवैये पर जवाब दिए बिना उल्टे पैर भाग जाते है @sambitswaraj क्या यही है भाजपा का दोहरा चरित्र ? pic.twitter.com/ob9AWRWKDv— All India Mahila Congress (@MahilaCongress) October 17, 2018
MJ Akbar Asked to Senior Minister in the Loop about Allegations: Report
MJ Akbar has been asked by the government to keep a senior Cabinet minister abreast of how the former is managing the 'crisis', an Economic Times report said.
When the allegations had surfaced, there was also a view to cut short his trip, sources have told ET. “There was also a view that he cut short his trip but it was shot down eventually after discussions with a senior Cabinet minister. Seniors in the government felt it would not send the proper signal to the international community if a foreign commitment is not honoured,” the source said.
An interview was also considered, but eventually a statement was released after deliberation with Akbar's counsel.
“An interview was considered, but as he got down to discuss the statement, it was felt that it was strong enough to counter the allegations.” the person was quoted by ET as saying.
The source added that the statement was toned down from what the MoS wanted as it was “too aggressive".
Priya Ramani Denies Initiating Crowdfunding for Case Against Akbar
Priya Ramani in a tweet on Wednesday denied initiating a crowdfunding initiative for the defamation case against MJ Akbar.
I have not initiated any crowdfunding initiative for my case— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 17, 2018
MJ Akbar Resigns as MoS for MEA
MJ Akbar on Wednesday resigned from his post of Minister of State External Affairs, ANI reported.
"“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to the External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj for the oppurtunity they gave me to serve my country.”" - MJ Akbar
Feel Vindicated by Akbar's Resignation: Priya Ramani
Priya Ramani, who had accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment, said that she feels ‘vindicated’ after the Union minister resigned from his post. However, she added that she is now awaiting justice in court.
As women we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar’s resignation.— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 17, 2018
I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court #metoo
The Truth Eventually Prevails: Ghazala Wahab
Ghazala Wahab, one of the women who had accused Akbar of sexual harassment, said that she feels ‘hugely relieved’ after the Union minister’s resignation.
The Quint reached out to Wahab following Akbar’s resignation. Here are edited excerpts from the interaction:
Do you think there was an unwarranted delay on part of the Centre?
I don't know whether it was an unwarranted delay on part of the BJP or who else was responsible. But yes, this could have happened on Sunday, it would have been nicer, more satisfying. But better late than never.
Was it the pressure from more than 20 journalists that led to his ouster?
Probably, what else could it be.
Is it a success of India's MeToo movement being led by female journalists of this country?
Absoluely, this is one in a line of successes we've seen in the last few weeks. A lot of top heads have rolled in other areas also, other papers, organisations so it's part of that movement.
On the defamation suit, do you think that it will stand the scrutiny of law?
I have no idea about law but the case has been thrust on Priya Ramani and she is not alone in this fight. All the women who have been a part of this campaign are supporting her and they will stand by her.
What led to you writing about your interaction with Akbar in the public domain almost 20 years after the incident?
When the story started coming out on social media, I thought of adding my bit to Twitter. But I held myself back as I did not want to be a part of something which was flimsy and could not stand ground... so, I deliberated on it and lot of my former colleagues were sending me messages that I must come out with my story. And something clicked and I thought may be this is the time that I should also lend my voice to the movement... so I wrote about it.
Do you think this is just tip of iceberg, that there are more MJ Akbars lurking around as organisations didn't have a formal ICC fifteen years ago?
Absoluely, no doubt about that.
Akbar Took the Right Decision: Ramdas Athawale
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday said that Akbar’s decision to step down from his post was the ‘right one’.
"“Opposition was asking him to resign on moral grounds. This is a right decision taken by him. The allegations against him should be properly investigated.”" - Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister, to ANI
Better Late Than Never: Shuma Raha
Shuma Raha, a journalist who had tweeted that Akbar had ‘behaved inappropriately’ with her, said that his continuing on as minister ‘was untenable’.
"“MJ Akbar’s resignation was overdue. After more than 20 women came forward with charges of sexual misconduct against him, his continuing as a Union minister was untenable. So, yes, better late than never.”" - Shuma Raha, Journalist, to The Quint
In this case, #MeToo. Year: 1995, Place Taj Bengal, Kolkata. After that encounter, I declined the job offer.— Shuma Raha (@ShumaRaha) October 8, 2018
Shame on Akbar for Delaying Resignation: Swati Maliwal
Swati Maliwal, chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women, said on Wednesday that the credit for Akbar’s resignation does not go to the Centre but directly to the #MeToo campaign.
Finally MJ Akbar has resigned. Shame on him for having delayed it for so long. The credit for the resignation goes not to the Centre or MJ Akbar but directly to the #MeToo campaign. Esp to those brave women who reported the assault & those women and men who stood by them.— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) October 17, 2018
Salute All Women Who Came Forward: Indira Jaising
Indira Jaising, senior Supreme Court advocate, commended all the women who came forward against the ‘gross violations of human rights by MJ Akbar’.
To all the women who stood testimony to the gross violations of human rights by MJ Akbar, to all the women Ministers who stood their ground and demanded his resignation, in the face of opposition from their Cabinet colleagues, I salute you.— indira jaising (@IJaising) October 17, 2018
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal to Hear Akbar's Case
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal will hear the defamation complaint filed by MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani in the Patiala House Court on Thursday, 18 October, ANI reported.
Welcome Akbar's Decision to Resign: NCW Chief
Rekha Sharma, chief of the National Commission for Women, welcomed Akbar’s decision to resign.
Speaking to ANI, she said: “It definitely took some time because some inquiry must be going on but finally they took the decision and that is what matters. I welcome this decision as I was looking forward to it.”
Akbar’s Continuation as Union Minister Was Indefensible: Nirupama Menon Rao
Former Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao said that Akbar’s continuation as Union minister was indefensible and commended all the women who exposed his ‘sickening and exploitative behaviour’.
So glad that Minister MJ Akbar has resigned his post. His continuation was untenable and indefensible. A big shoutout to all the brave women journalists who called him out for his alleged, sickening and exploitative behaviour towards them. #Metoo #LetTheWomenBeHeard— Nirupama Menon Rao (@NMenonRao) October 17, 2018
'Shocked that Centre Gave Akbar Public Platform to Respond'
Several women, who had accused Akbar of sexual harassment, took to Twitter after the Union minister stepped down from his post on Wednesday.
Ruth David, a journalist with Bloomberg, said that the women who came forward raised their voices so that “others will not experience what we did”.
India's junior foreign minister MJ Akbar resigns after over a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. I was one of those women and I stand by my story and with those who spoke up. We raise our voices now so others will not experience what we did.— Ruth David (@RuthsDavid) October 17, 2018
Meenal Baghel, editor, Mumbai Mirror, thanked all the people who supported the women.
A very big thanks to everyone who backed each of us. #MJAkbar— Meenal Baghel (@writemeenal) October 17, 2018
Saba Naqvi, journalist, while speaking to CNNNews18 said: "I was shocked to see that the Centre allowed Akbar to take a public platform to counter-attack young girls who were previously his employees."
She also reacted on Twitter.
Akbar's Ouster a Vindication of Congress' Stand on #MeToo: AICC
Ragini Nayak, National Media Panelist, AICC, released a statement on Wednesday after Akbar’s resignation, calling it a ‘vindication of the Congress party’s unequivocal stand on the #MeToo campaign’.
“It is time for a fair trial, so that justice prevails. This country has a rule of law and any allegation levelled against anybody must pass the test of justice. We hope and wish that all the women fighting this tough battle would be heard and justice imparted,” the statement said.
It also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence on the matter. “ Now that MJ Akbar has finally resigned, will the PM, Shri Narendra Modi dare to speak up?” the statement said.
Credit Must Go to Journalistic Fraternity, Civil Society: Shutapa Paul
Shutapa Paul, founder-editor, NewCrop, told The Quint that Akbar’s resignation was long overdue.
"“It was important that the Union minister took moral responsibility for his actions and stepped down from his post. Credit must go to the role played by the media, journalistic fraternity and civil society.”" - Shutapa Paul, founder-editor, NewCrop
President Kovind Accepts Akbar's Resignation
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday accepted the resignation of MJ Akbar from the Union Council of Ministers with immediate effect, ANI reported.
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of MJ Akbar from the Union Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution," a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.
Akbar had tendered his resignation after several women journalists had accused him of sexual harassment.
Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani to be Heard at 2pm
The hearing for the private criminal defamation case filed by Union minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani will take place at Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday, 18 October, at 2 pm, CNN-News18 reported. The matter will be presented before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Samar Vishal.
Akbar is expected to be present at the hearing and will reportedly stand in the witness box to record his statement before the court, the report added.
Barkha Dutt Calls Off Solidarity Meet for Ramani
Veteran journalist Barkha Dutt had on Wednesday, 17 October, put out a tweet urging all journalists to meet at the Delhi Patiala Court, where the hearing is to take place, to show their solidarity with Priya Ramani.
However, in a later tweet, she said that she had found out that Ramani would not be present at the hearing and thus the meet should take place only when she is summoned.
Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response to gather at Patiala House in solidarity with @priyaramani . Now informed that Thursday only #MJAkbar deposition & Priya will not be in court. So let us save our troops for when she is summoned. Thanks again— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 17, 2018
Editors Guild Issues Statement on Akbar, Hopes He Withdraws Defamation Case
The Editors Guild of India on Thursday, 18 October, issued a statement on the allegations which led editor-turned-politician, MJ Akbar, to step down from his post on Wednesday. Akbar is a former President of the Guild, NDTV reported.
While hailing the courage of the female journalists who called out Akbar for harassment, it also said that it hoped Akbar would display some grace and withdraw the criminal defamation case he had filed against journalist Priya Ramani.
"While Mr Akbar is entitled to all legal instruments available to a citizen to seek vindication, it would be paradoxical for a veteran editor to employ the instrument of criminal defamation. More so for Mr Akbar who happens to be the former president of the Guild." - The statement read
Patiala House Court to Hear MJ Akbar's Defamation Complaint at 2 pm
The hearing on MJ Akbar's criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani will start at 2pm at Patiala House Court.
#Metoo : At Patiala House Court for the hearing on #MJAkbar 's criminal defamation case complaint against @priyaramani . ACMM Samar Vishal to hear Akbar on why the court should take cognizance of his complaint at 2pm. @TheQuint— Vakasha Sachdev (@VakashaS) October 18, 2018
Advocate Geeta Luthra is representing MJ Akbar. Akbar might not turn up for this hearing.
#Metoo : Also looks like #MJAkbar is not going to turn up. Under Section 200, CrPC, he doesn't have to appear if his complaint is in writing. It was earlier expected that he would be appearing before the judge to argue why the court should take cognizance. @TheQuint— Vakasha Sachdev (@VakashaS) October 18, 2018
MJ Akbar's Lawyer Geeta Luthra Makes Her Submissions
The defamation case hearing begins, with ACMM Samar Vishal reviewing the complaint. Akbar's advocate Geeta Luthra has begun her submissions.
#MJAkbar hearing: his lawyers have finally turned up. Geeta Luthra begins her submissions. Refers to tweet by @priyaramani where she revealed her Vogue article was about Akbar. Judge wants to see what the alleged defamatory content is. @TheQuint— Vakasha Sachdev (@VakashaS) October 18, 2018
Court To Record MJ Akbar's Statement on 31 October
ACMM Samar Vishal said that the court has taken cognizance of the complaint. The court will record MJ Akbar’s statement on 31 October.
Akbar's lawyer Geeta Luthra argued that the Patiala House court does have jurisdiction in the mater and that there are witnesses who will argue that Akbar's reputation has been tarnished. She said that at this stage all that she has to show is that Akbar's reputation has suffered, and that the allegedly defamatory remarks were read by others.
Not Aware of Meeting Between Akbar and Sushma Swaraj: MEA Spokesperson
Commenting on MJ Akbar’s resignation, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that he is not aware of a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Akbar.
“The minister has resigned and made a statement, I have nothing else to add. He was a part of an official meeting after he arrived in India, I am not aware of any meeting between him and Sushma Swaraj,” said Kumar.
Patiala House Court Records MJ Akbar's Statement Before the Magistrate
MJ Akbar's statement is being recorded at Patiala House Court in front of the magistrate in relation to his defamation complaint against Priya Ramani.
According to Bar and Bench, Akbar started off by talking about his journalistic career and went on to state how he has a reputation because of his career. He also explained why he has filed the complaint against Ramani.
MJ Akbar Refers To Vogue Article by Priya Ramani in Statement
MJ Akbar in his statement refered to Priya Ramani's article in Vogue (which hadn't named him), and the tweet by her where she revealed the article was in fact about him.
Akbar in his statement said that he filed a criminal defamation complaint against Ramani based on the series of tweets by her.
“I've filed criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani for a series of tweets that she published. First one came to my notice on my return from my official tour,” he said.
'Ramani's Tweets Against Me False, Baseless And Malicious': Akbar
While explaining why the tweets by Ramani addressed to Akbar were "defamatory," the former union minister said that he wasn't named in the article. He also referred to her tweets as ‘false, baseless and malicious’.
He also added that when Ramani was asked why Akbar’s name was not used, she had stated in her own tweet of 8 October 2018 that this was "because I (Akbar) had done nothing."
Akbar alleged that due to the tweets by Ramani, his reputation was tarnished.
Some specific people he is naming in whose eyes his reputation has been lowered, by Ramani's "false, baseless and malicious" statements: Joyeeta Basu, Veenu Sandal (full list of six people at the end of his complaint, who will test as witnesses) @TheQuint— Vakasha Sachdev (@VakashaS) October 31, 2018
Akbar further said on Wednesday that he had stepped down as minister to "seek justice in his personal capacity", reported News18.
MJ Akbar Concludes Statement, Next Date of Hearing on 12 November
MJ Akbar concluded his statement in front of the magistrate. The statements of the witnesses will be recorded on the next date of hearing, which is 12 November.
"“It has lowered my reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking members of the public, my friends, colleagues, peers, and the professional and political fraternity, thereby causing irreparable loss to my reputation and goodwill.” " - MJ Akbar in his statement
Notably, Priya Ramani isn't recording a statement today, nor at the next hearing. She will only have to appear once the court summons her, for which the judge will have to agree that there are grounds for prosecution.
Visuals of MJ Akbar on Wednesday, 31 October
I Was Raped by MJ Akbar: Pallavi Gogoi
In a piece written for The Washington Post, journalist Pallavi Gogoi has narrated her ordeal and has written about how she was allegedly raped by MJ Akbar back in the 1990s.
Gogoi goes on to write about the spring or summer of 1994 when she was working as the op-ed editor for the Asian Age and was first assaulted by Akbar. She describes it as an embarrassment for herself that left her scarred.
Narrating the incident, Gogoi writes, “I went to show him the op-ed page I had created with what I thought were clever headlines. He applauded my effort and suddenly lunged to kiss me. I reeled. I emerged from the office, red-faced, confused, ashamed, destroyed.”
In her piece, Gogoi has narrated other incidents where Akbar made advances and threatened her if she refused.
Narrating another such incident Gogoi recalls the time when she was summoned to Bombay to help Akbar launch a magazine. She was called to Akbar’s hotel room to show him the layouts, Akbar tried to kiss her and when she resisted, he scratched her face.
As Gogoi pens down, she started looking for more reporting opportunities to “escape” office and as one story took her to a remote village a few miles away from Delhi, she was called to meet Akbar in a hotel in Jaipur, where her assignment was to end.
Gogoi then recalls what happened with her in that hotel room.
"“He ripped off my clothes and raped me. Instead of reporting him to the police, I was filled with shame. I didn’t tell anyone about this then. Would anyone have believed me? I blamed myself. Why did I go to the hotel room?”" - Pallavi Gogoi
MJ Akbar Denies Allegations
Responding to The Washington Post, MJ Akbar’s lawyer has said, “My client states that these [incidents and allegations] are false and expressly denied.”
'Pallavi Gogoi and I Entered Into a Consensual Relationship': MJ Akbar
Former Union Minister MJ Akbar has called the allegations of rape and violence against him, detailed in a Washington Post piece by journalist Pallavi Gogoi, as false.
In his statement, Akbar said:
"“Somewhere around 1994, Ms Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a consensual relationship that spanned several months. This relationship gave rise to talk and would later cause significant strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on the best note.”" - MJ Akbar’s statement
He went on to say that several people have come forward to indicate that they would be happy to bear testimony to his version of events.
'Don't Know Pallavi's Reasons for Telling This Lie But a Lie It Is': MJ Akbar's Wife
Breaking her silence for the first time since accusations of misconduct and sexual harassment were levelled against MJ Akbar, his wife Mallika Akbar has refuted the rape allegations levelled by journalist Pallavi Gogoi against her husband, saying that while she doesn't know Pallavi's reasons for telling this lie, it is a lie nevertheless.
In a statement, Mallika Akbar said:
"More than twenty years ago, Pallavi Gogoi caused unhappiness and discord in our home. I learned of her and my husband's involvement through her late night phone calls and her public display of affection in my presence. In her flaunting the relationship, she caused anguish and hurt to my entire family. At an Asian Age party at our home, crowded with young journalists, I have watched with mortification and pain as they danced close. I had confronted my husband at the time and he decided to prioritize his family. Tushita Patel and Pallavi Gogoi were often at our home, happily drinking and dining with us. Neither carried the haunted look of victims of sexual assault. I don't know Pallavi's reasons for telling this lie but a lie it is."
Bar Council Warns of Action Against Legal Firm Representing Akbar
The Bar Council of Delhi, in a letter written to Raian Karanjawala, pointed out that the Vakalatnama filed by M/S Karanjawala and Co, the legal firm representing Akbar, is not in accordance with Rule 105A of the Bar Council of Delhi Rules.
The Council secretary asked the firm to submit its explanation regarding the same within two weeks, and warned of action if it doesn't do so.
Not a Consensual Relationship: Gogoi Refutes Akbar's Claim
In a statement released on Twitter, Gogoi refuted Akbar’s claim of sharing a "consensual relationship” and wrote, “Rather than taking responsibility for his abuse of me & his serial predation of other young man who have courageously came forward. MJ Akbar has insisted—just like other infamous serial sexual abuser of women—that the relationship was consensual. It was not. A relationship that is based on coercion, and abuse of power, is not consensual. I stand by every word in my published account.”
Tracking Fresh & Serious Allegations Against Akbar: Editors Guild
In a fresh statement issued by the Editors Guild of India on Friday, 2 November, the body, of which Akbar is a former President, said that it was “tracking with great concern fresh, and serious allegations of sexual misconduct against former editor MJ Akbar”.
Keeping in tune with its last statement against Akbar, it said that since Akbar was no longer a journalist, his membership with the Guild had become “dormant”.
Akbar Case May Come Under the Radar of Rajya Sabha Ethics Panel
Fresh allegations against MJ Akbar may come under the scanner of the Upper House Ethics Committee.
Committee chairman and BJP MP Narayan Lal Panchariya told The Indian Express: “If any complaint comes, we will go by the procedure and Akbar case may come on Rajya Sabha ethics panel radar take up the matter.”
Akbar's Reputation Destroyed Due To Ramani's Allegation, Former Colleague Tells HC
A former woman colleague of journalist and politician M J Akbar told a Delhi court on Monday, 12 November that his reputation has been "destroyed" and "damaged irreparably" due to the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled by scribe Priya Ramani.
Joyeeta Basu, the editor of Sunday Guardian, who appeared as a witness to support defamation case filed by Akbar, told the court that Ramani posted all her tweets "intentionally with a purpose to harm" Akbar's "reputation and goodwill".
The court has now posted the matter for next hearing on December 7, when it is likely to record the statement of another witness named by Akbar in his complaint.
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