QWrap: MJ Akbar’s Defamation Case Heard in Delhi Court & More

1. Court to Record MJ Akbar’s Statement in Defamation Case on 31 Oct

Delhi’s Patiala House court on Thursday, 18 October, took cognisance of former Union minister MJ Akbar's criminal defamation complaint against journalist Priya Ramani, who has accused him of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago. It fixed the date for recording his statement for 31 October.

Akbar was not present in the court and was represented by advocate Geeta Luthra.

Akbar on Wednesday, 17 October, had resigned from his post of Minister of State for External Affairs after multiple women journalists came out in support of Ramani.

Catch all the updates here.

2. Sabarimala Row Continues, Political Parties Play Blame-Game

Although the gates of Kerala's Sabarimala temple opened to all its devotees yesterday, women are being stopped from coming near it as angry mobs set up base near the temples. These mobs are resorting to violence and intimidation to prevent women from entering the temple and "changing their tradition".

The targeted attacks on women journalists have continued for two days. This morning, New York Times journalist Suhasini Raj, who was on her way to becoming the first woman of menstrual age to enter the Sabarimala shrine after the historic SC verdict, was forced to abandon her journey after protesters stopped her and pelted stones at her.

While the Kerala police are doing their best to protect the women, political parties, have resorted to their usual blame game. While CM Pinarayi Vijayan blamed the RSS for instigating the outbreak of violence in the wake of the verdict, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, without naming the state government, made a pointed remark saying that those supporting the verdict were breaking the temple's tradition, and mostly the ones who did not even visit the temple. Meanwhile, the BJP has blamed the CPI(M). Section 144 of the IPC has been imposed in Nilakkal, Pamba, Sannidhanam and Elavumkal.

Catch the live updates on The Quint.

3. #MeToo: Vikas Bahl Files Rs 10 Cr Defamation Suit Against Kashyap, Motwane; Anu Malik Accused Again

India's #MeToo battle rages on, but the men being called out are nowhere near accepting it. Since morning, Phantom films producer Vikas Bahl has slammed a Rs 10-crore defamation suit against his former partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, for speaking about him in connection with sexual harassment to the media. Meanwhile, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray, has backed Nana Patekar, accused by former actress Tanushree Dutta of sexual harassment years ago, saying it didn't "seem like anything he would do".

Meanwhile, another allegation against music director Anu Malik has surfaced, this time by singer Shweta Pandit, who alleged that he harassed her when she was 15.

Get all the updates here.

4. Badhaai Ho: ‘Giving Birth’ to a Must-Watch Situational Comedy

Badhaai Ho because director Amit Sharma and screenplay writer Akshat Ghildial handle it masterfully and effortlessly.

The narrative is textured and nuanced, dealing with sensitivity and maturity what could have been a montage of crass jokes about ‘parents having fun in the bedroom’. The humour here is situational.

Set in a humble Delhi colony, the missing vowels from the Punjabi-laced Hindi of the Kaushiks, neighbours, and dost-rishtedaar as they try to “support” the couple generate many LOL moments. The expecting parents themselves – Priyamvada (Neena Gupta) and Jatinder (Gajraj Rao) – who aren’t totally oblivious to the scandal they have ‘given birth to’, are hilarious in their moments of confusion.

Badhaai Ho is a tongue-in-cheek exposé of the double standards of a society that hyperventilates with normal PDA, and now has to process the news of an older couple’s healthy sex life.

Read the full review here.

5. Ex-BSP MP’s Son In Custody After Flashing Gun at Delhi Hotel

Ashish Pandey, son of former BSP MP Rakesh Pandey, approached the Patiala House court in New Delhi to surrender after he was given a non-bailable warrant by the court for brandishing a gun outside Hyatt Regency in Delhi on 14 October.

Soon after, the police formally arrested Pandey, moving an application before Delhi's Patiala House Court seeking custodial remand of four days. However, the court granted only a day’s police remand to Pandey.

Pandey recorded a statement as he reached the court, stating that he was carrying the gun for his safety.

“I didn’t brandish it. It was hanging behind me all the time. I didn’t even address that girl, she pushed me and made obscene hand gestures. I have faith in the judiciary and so I decided to surrender. There is no history of police cases against me,” Ashish Pandey said.

(Read the full story here)

6. Raavan Insecure Hai: This Dussehra, Fight Misogyny

With the #MeToo movement finally making its mark in India, women have taken it upon themselves to fight the evils of patriarchy and misogyny. This Dussehra, let’s celebrate the shakti of all the survivors who have raised their voice against wrongdoings, and fought back to destroy the evil.

(Watch the full video here)

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