Priya Ramani reacted by saying that she was ready to fight the allegations of defamation laid against her.
The Hush Post: Accused of sexual harassment, Union Minister MJ Akbar has hired a battery of 97 lawyers against journalist Priya Ramani. The Minister of State for External Affairs has filed a criminal defamation suit against Ramani in Delhi’s Patiala House Court through his advocates Karanjawala and Co.
Ramani, besides a dozen other women, have accused Akbar of sexual misconduct in India’s #MeToo movement.
In the Vakalatnama submitted in the court Akbar has mentioned the names of 97 advocates of top powerful law firm which include 30 female lawyers. The case is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Priya Ramani reacted by posting a long message on her Twitter handle saying that she was ready to fight the allegations of defamation laid against her.
My statement pic.twitter.com/1W7M2lDqPN
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 15, 2018
The development has taken the social media by storm. Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul termed Akbar’s move as a means to pressurize journalists.
Meanwhile, 97 advocates from a top powerful law firm to defend MoS MEA MJ Akbar against sexual harassment allegations as he files criminal defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani. Journalists in India need to fight back this intimidation. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/H0XYNgbpNp
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 15, 2018
Journalist Suhasini Haidar echoed similar sentiments.
Empire strikes back. Minister, backed by PM and full cabinet, to be represented by the biggest law firm, also defended by some senior columnists, as he takes on 14 women, 2 of whom were teenagers when they say he sexually harassed them with court cases.We are all on trial today. https://t.co/Y0gAaHVcXf
— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) October 15, 2018
Akbar Denies Allegations
Earlier on Sunday, M J Akbar said, the allegations of sexual harassment against him are false and fabricated. He said, now he will take legal action against the women journalists who have raised these allegations against him, as earlier he was on an official tour abroad.”
“Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. I will be taking appropriate legal action,” the minister had said.
“Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill. This is deeply distressing. As indicated above, I will be taking appropriate legal action,” he added.