Woman journalist Joyeeta Basu appeared as witness in favour of MJ Akbar in court

mj akbar

The journalist said that she has worked with Akbar for 20 years and had not heard anything “untoward” from the staff where they worked together

The Hush Post| 18:31 pm| two-minute-read

An ex-woman colleague of ex-Union External Affairs Minister MJ Akbar, who had filed a criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani, told a Delhi court on Monday that his reputation has been “intentionally destroyed” and “damaged irreparably” due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Joyeeta Basu, the editor of Sunday Guardian, who appeared as a witness to support Akbar, told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that Ramani posted all her tweets “intentionally with a purpose to harm” Akbar’s “reputation and goodwill.” Akbar had founded Sunday Guardian in 2010.

“I have seen tweets by Priya Ramani. I was overcome by doubts, but I know from the number of questions raised by people, I know personally that his reputation has been destroyed and damaged irreparably,” Basu told the court.

“After reading these tweets by Ramani, I believe that this vilification was conducted and the tweets were sent out intentionally by Ramani with a purpose to harm Akbar’s reputation and goodwill in the eyes of society,” Basu said.

The journalist said that she has worked with Akbar for 20 years and had not heard anything “untoward” from the staff where they worked together.

“I have always held Akbar in high regard. He has been perfectly professional in his dealings with me. He has always been a tough taskmaster, a thorough professional and a brilliant teacher,” Basu said.

She said she considered Akbar to be “a brilliant journalist, a scholarly writer and a thorough gentleman with an impeccable reputation.”

The court has now posted the matter for the next hearing on December 7

Basu said that she was “shocked, disappointed, embarrassed” to see Ramani’s tweets against Akbar and “in spite of my experience with him, his image, his reputation took a beating in my eyes on reading these tweets/articles.”

“It was aggravated during my interaction with friends and colleagues who had read and heard about the widely publicised tweets and articles and asked me whether he was really like that? They questioned his character and said that his image has taken a severe beating and had been lowered in their eyes.”

“They said that his reputation had been permanently damaged as far as they were concerned,” she said.

The court has now posted the matter for the next hearing on December 7.

Earlier Priya Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago. Akbar, who had resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on October 17, had earlier told the court that an “immediate damage” has been caused to him due to the “scurrilous”, concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.

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