Written byShalini Ojha
MoS External Ministry MJ Akbar has filed a defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani through his advocates Karanjawala & Co, on Monday, at Delhi's Patiala Court.
Ramani named Akbar in a tweet of hers, accusing him of sexual harassment. When the #MeToo storm hit India, Ramani shared her Vogue story where she spoke about bosses abusing power.
She claimed Akbar was one such boss.
Sharing her Akbar story, Ramani said the former editor called her to his hotel room for an interview. She said it was more of a date, less of an interview.
Akbar was apparently drinking alcohol and mid-way asked her to sit next to her on the bed, a suggestion she declined.
She got the job but vouched to never be alone with him in a room.
Union Minister MJ Akbar files criminal defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against journalist Priya Ramani, through his advocates Karanjawala Co. pic.twitter.com/JilOOi3Fw4— ANI (@ANI) October 15, 2018
After Ramani revealed her story, many women followed suit. As many as 14 women have accused Akbar of sexual misconduct.
While one journalist said he ogled at her breasts, another one alleged Akbar pushed his tongue in her throat when she was 18. Another one wrote it was Akbar's harassment which drove her to quit the job at Asian Age.
While the accusers' list started getting longer, Akbar was in Nigeria on a diplomatic visit. In India, there was a demand for his resignation.
When he returned on Sunday, he released a detailed statement saying the allegations were politically motivated. He dismissed rumors of his resignation and spoke about the legal route.
The Centre was targeted for not acting on complaints.
Though Akbar's response and Centre's inaction are disappointing, five accusers said they had it coming. Puy Kamp, who was forcefully kissed, said she is not even an Indian citizen and doesn't have any political motives.
Ramani too remained unsurprised. She told IE none of the accusers have any political ambitions, unlike him.
She had also said truth is the best defense against any defamation suit.
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