#MeToo : 97 Lawyers To Fight For MJ Akbar Against Priya Ramani
I am ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth is my only defence : Priya Ramani
Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar have filed a defamation suit in Delhi’s Patiala House court against journalist Priya Ramani, accusing her of “willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously” defaming him on frivolous grounds, harming his reputation. Ramani and 14 other women have accussed MJ Akbar of sexual harassment while he was an editor at the Asian Age.
97 lawyers of law firm Karanjawala & Co will fight for the Union Minister against journalist Priya Ramani but the firm has stated that only stated six out of the 97 will appear in the case. The case filed is under section 499 (defamation) and section 500 (an accused may be awarded two years jail term or fine or both in the event of conviction).
Journalist Priya Ramani who was the first of the many women who shared their #MeToo stories against MJ Akbar on Twitter. In a tweet on October 8, she had revealed that an article she had written last year about an editor inviting her to his hotel room for a job interview and asking her to sit on the bed with him, was MJ Akbar.
Ramani in her detailed statement, hours after Akbar filed the suit said, “I am ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth is my only defence.”
Ramani wrote that she is deeply disappointed that a union minister dismissed the allegations of several women as a political conspiracy.
Ramani further wrote that by instituting a case of criminal defamation against her, Akbar has made his stand clear. “Rather than engaging with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment,” the statement read.
My statement pic.twitter.com/1W7M2lDqPN
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 15, 2018
Akbar, in his statement in the entire matter, had said on Sunday that the allegations of sexual harassment against him were “false and fabricated” and that they were being circulated as part of an agenda ahead of upcoming general elections.