Court acquits Priya Ramani in criminal defamation case by MJ Akbar

Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Wednesday acquitted #Metoo whistle blower Priya Ramani in criminal defamation case by former minister MJ Akbar.

“Right of reputation can’t be protected at the cost of right to dignity,” Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey observed. “Society must understand the impact of sexual abuse and harassment on its victims.”

Court observes that Even a man of social status can be a sexual harasser.

The defamation was filled in October 2018, after Priya Ramani came out with allegations against MJ Akbar during the wave of Metoo movement. Ramani used Twitter to level allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Ramani claimed that in December 1993, MJ Akbar sexually harassed her when she was called to The Oberoi, Mumbai for a job interview.

“We won this,” wrote #MetooIndia on twitter joining dozens who are celebrating the verdict.

Over the course of the trial, Ramani highlighted the volume of sexual harassment disclosures made by multiple women against Akbar on social media. The scandal eventually led to Akbar tendering his resignation as Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs on October 17, 2018.