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Opinion

#MeToo: Priya Ramani called me a predator without any basis, says MJ Akbar to court

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Former union minister MJ Akbar told a court here Monday that journalist Priya Ramani called him “ the media’s biggest sexual predator ” without any investigation or basis. Akbar made the presentation through lawyer Geeta Luthra during the hearing. final in a criminal defamation complaint filed by him. against Ramani for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct 20 years ago.

Ramani had made an accusation of sexual misconduct against Akbar in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018.

Luthra referred to Ramani’s tweet accusing Akbar of being the media’s biggest sexual predator.

“If we look at what has been said, we come to the conclusion that it is a predator. Based on what? All these assertions (in the article) are based without any investigation or foundation, ”he presented to the Metropolitan Additional Chief Magistrate Ravindra Kumar.

He also read Ramani’s “premature tweet” about Akbar’s resignation. “This had more tweets. In my interrogation (of Akbar) I asked if this was not correct. Resigned later is totally immaterial. This shows bad faith, malice.

“This is an out-of-court trial. Due process is in a court of law. You cannot become a law about yourself. This (the tweet) was wrong, ”he said.

The lead attorney further accused Ramani of not telling the truth in court.

“I asked him if he issued any corrections. She said yes. I said show. She said she would appear on the next date. This was not necessary. I knew he hadn’t posted any fixes.

“He says his defense is the truth, but he knows it is not the truth. Only on cross-examination does she say it was not the truth. Show your credibility as a witness, ”Luthra said.

She further said: “Can people repeat something wrong? The repetition of lies by 10 people does not become the truth. Being a journalist, he could have independently verified. This is how responsible journalism works ”. “A blatantly false and incorrect statement was made in court and a blatantly false defense was made,” he said.

The court will resume the hearing on January 7.

Akbar had filed the criminal defamation complaint against Ramani on October 15, 2018.

He resigned as Union Minister on October 17, 2018.

Akbar had previously told the court that Ramani had defamed him by calling him adjectives like “the media’s greatest predator” that damaged his reputation.

She has denied all allegations of sexual harassment against women that came out during the #MeToo campaign against her.

More than 20 women came up with accounts of Akbar’s alleged sexual harassment while working as journalists under his command.

He called the accusations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them.

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