Patiala House Court in Delhi today i.e., January 22, 2019, has reserved its order on summoning journalist Priya Ramani as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar after she levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against him in October 2018
The matter came up for hearing before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal
who reserved the order after listening to the arguments. Around 14 women including Ms. Ramani have spoken out publically against Mr. Akbar, alleging that he had behaved inappropriately with them and others in the past few decades at publications he edited, including the Sunday
magazine, The Telegraph
and The Asian Age
newspapers. However, Mr. Akbar had chosen to prosecute only Ms. Ramani and not the 13 others.
Mr. Akbar citing an open letter by Ms. Ramani published in Vogue
magazine last October along with her tweets naming him had sought Ms. Ramani’s prosecution for “wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming” him. Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Mr. Akbar
argued that Ms. Ramani “demolished” Akbar’s reputation which he “had built year by year”. “She painted an image of (Akbar being) media’s biggest sexual predator,”
Luthra remarked. The court will pronounce the order on January 29, 2019.