Former Union Minister M J Akbar told a Delhi Court on July 6 that allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him by Priya Ramani were not true.
"It is (...) wrong to suggest that Ramani's disclosures in her tweets and articles relating to me were true and made in good faith," M J Akbar told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.
During his cross-examination, the former MoS for External Affairs said that he was not selective in in filing a defamation suit against Priya Ramani and did not intend to target her.
The court posted the matter for further hearing and for cross-examining other complainant witnesses on July 15.
In 2018, Journalist Priya Ramani came out in public to allege M K Akbar of sexual harassment when he was a journalist 20 years ago. The allegations came at the height of #MeToo movement in India during which women from various walks of life, but predominantly media, came out in public with their allegations of sexual harassment against popular and powerful names. The list includes M J Akbar, Alok Nath, Nana Patekar to name a few.
In October 2018, M J Akbar filed a defamation suit against Priya Ramani challenging her allegations against him and saying that the episode has damaged his public reputation. Priya Ramani was first in the list of more than a dozen women who made public allegations of sexual harassment against M J Akbar.
Though initially, he did not resign from his post, M J Akbar had to step down as Minister of State of External Affairs as pressure mounted.
Watch | Police close Nana Patekar’s sexual harassment case filed by Tanushree Dutta