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Journalist Priya Ramani Acquitted In Defamation Case Filed By MJ Akbar


Priya Ramani had accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment in 2018, when he was a Union minister.

Highlights

  • Ladies cannot be punished for elevating situations of sexual abuse: Courtroom
  • Most instances sexual harassment is dedicated behind closed doorways: Courtroom
  • Sexual harassment has acquired the eye it deserves, mentioned Priya Ramani

New Delhi:

Former Union Minister MJ Akbar’s defamation case in opposition to journalist Priya Ramani — filed over her allegations of sexual misconduct in opposition to him — couldn’t be proved, a Delhi Courtroom mentioned at present, acquitting her of all expenses. “Women can’t be punished for raising instances of sexual abuse,” the court docket mentioned, including that “right of reputation” — a reference to MJ Akbar’s swimsuit — “cannot be protected at the cost of right to dignity”.

“The Indian constitution allows women to put forward her grievances before any forum and at any time,” the choose mentioned, taking cognizance of the dearth of mechanisms to lift sexual harassment complaints.

Declaring that “even a man of (high) social status (standing) can be a sexual harasser,” Further Chief Metropolitan Justice of the Peace Ravindra Kumar Pandey mentioned, “It can’t be ignored that most times sexual harassment is committed behind closed doors”.

“Most of the women who suffer abuse can’t often speak up due to stigma and attack on their character,” he added.

Ms Ramani instructed the media that she feels “vindicated” on behalf of the ladies who spoke out in opposition to sexual harassment within the office.

“Sexual harassment has got the attention it deserves despite the fact that it is me, being the victim who had to stand up in court as the accused,” she mentioned. “I hope it will discourage powerful men from filing false cases against women who share their truths,” she instructed NDTV.

Ms Ramani had accused the previous editor of sexual misconduct amid the #MeToo motion of 2018. She had tweeted a newspaper article she wrote a 12 months in the past, the place she accused a “former boss” of being a “sexual predator”.

Later in court docket, she mentioned the incident befell round 20 years in the past. Mr Akbar, who headed Asian Age on the time, had known as her to his resort bed room for a job interview and behaved inappropriately, she had instructed the court docket.

Her tweet had opened the floodgates, with round 20 girls stepping ahead with related allegations in opposition to the previous editor.
On October 15, 2018, Mr Akbar — then a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cupboard — approached the court docket. He resigned two days later, on October 17, 2018.

In a 41-page defamation swimsuit, Mr Akbar alleged that Priya Ramani’s tweets and newspaper article had spoiled the repute and goodwill he constructed over 40 years and he needed to step down from PM Modi’s authorities.

Ms Ramani had mentioned the lawsuit was “an attempt to intimidate” her. The case, she mentioned, was additionally an try and “create a chilling effect among all the women who spoke out about their experiences of sexual harassment at the hands of Akbar”.



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