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‘Truth my defence’: Priya Ramani gets bail in defamation case by MJ Akbar

Priya Ramani had accused M J Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2019 13:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
MJ Akbar,Priya Ramani,MeToo
Journalist Priya Ramani after she was granted bail in a defamation filed by former Union minister M J Akbar whom she accused of sexual misconduct.(ANI)

A Delhi on Monday granted bail to journalist Priya Ramani on a personal bail bond of Rs 10,000 in a defamation filed by former Union minister M J Akbar whom she accused of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago, ANI reported.

She appeared in the Patiala House court on Monday after Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal had issued the direction on January 29 on Akbar’s plea. The court has posted the next hearing on April 10.

“The next date when they will frame the charges against me is April 10. After that it will be my turn to tell my story. The truth is my defence,” ANI quoted her as saying.

Akbar has denied Ramani’s allegations.

Ramani was among a number of women who accused Akbar of sexual misconduct during his time as an editor, forcing him to resign from the Union cabinet on October 17, 2018 after returning from a tour of Africa.

Following the magistrate’s summons, Ramani responded with a tweet, saying “Time to tell our side of the story.”

The former minister’s legal team told the court that Ramani hs damaged Akbar’s reputation by levelling “false, wild and baseless allegations”.

A journalist now based in the United States also accused Akbar of sexual harassment and claimed that she was assaulted at a Jaipur hotel over 23 years ago. It was followed by instances of “sexual, verbal and emotional” defilement. Akbar responded by saying that theirs was a consensual affair, but the woman said that a relationship “based on coercion and abuse of power” cannot be couched in such terms.

The Editors Guild of India suspended Akbar from its membership in December until the defamation case he had filed against Ms Ramani came to its logical conclusion.

First Published: Feb 25, 2019 10:28 IST