Who is Priya Ramani and What was the Defamation Case Filed Against Her By MJ Akbar

New Delhi: Journalist Priya Ramani was on Wednesday acquitted by a Delhi court docket in a prison defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar for accusing him of sexual misconduct. The court docket stated {that a} lady has the proper to place her grievances even after a long time and that proper of status can’t be protected at the value of proper to dignity. Also Read – Court Acquits Priya Ramani in Defamation Case by MJ Akbar, Cites Ramayana: ‘Reverence To Women Essential To Indian Ethos’

“The woman has the right to put her grievances at any platform of her choice and even after decades,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey famous. The court docket additional stated, “Women cannot be punished for raising voice against the sexual abuse in the pretext of complaint of defamation.” Also Read – ‘Communal Unity, Harmony Bedrock of India’s Strength,’ Pranab Mukherjee Says at Book Launch

After the court docket’s verdict, Ramani stated, “I am feeling amazing, to have my truth vindicated in a court of law is really something.” Also Read – Mahatma Gandhi Wanted to Live in Pakistan After Independence, Claims MJ Akbar’s New Book

Who is Priya Ramani?

Ramani is a journalist who started her profession in 1994 at The Asian Age in 1994, then Reuters, Elle, India Today, Cosmopolitan journal and Mint Lounge. She has additionally written for Livemint, The Indian Express, and Vogue India. Ramani additionally serves as an editorial board member of Article 14, an internet site about the rule of regulation in India.

Ramani got here to the limelight after she revealed an article in Vogue India titled “To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world,” that was styled as an open letter and started with “Dear Male Boss.”

Priya Ramani’s #MeToo allegation towards MJ Akbar

In 2018, in wake of the #MeToo motion in India, Ramani had made allegations of sexual misconduct towards the then Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar by a tweet. Ramani tweeted as regards to her 2017 Vogue India piece, stating “I began this piece with my MJ Akbar story. Never named him because he didn’t “do” something. Lots of ladies have worse tales about this predator—perhaps they’ll share.”

MJ Akbar’s response to Ramani’s Allegation which led to the defamation go well with

In response to her allegations in the tweet, Akbar had filed a defamation go well with towards Ramani on October 15 the identical yr, for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct round 20 years in the past when he was a journalist. However, Ramani pleaded not responsible to his defamation go well with.

And, after a number of different girls made related allegations towards him throughout his profession as a journalist, Akbar resigned as Union Minister. Ramani was the first in a protracted checklist of feminine journalists to accuse Akbar, a journalist-turned-politician, of sexual harassment.

Akbar advised the court docket that Ramani’s allegations have been fictitious and value him his stellar status. Priya Ramani, on the different hand, contested these claims, pleaded fact as her defence and stated that she made allegations in good religion, public curiosity, and for public good.

Ramani’s assertion towards Akbar

In September 2019, whereas recording her assertion as a witness in a defamation plaint filed towards her by Akbar, Ramani affirmed that her disclosures towards Akbar have been first made a lot sooner than 2018. She stated, “I spoke the truth when I disclosed the experience of my first job interview in my Vogue article and my tweet of October 8. It was important and necessary for women to speak up about sexual harassment at the workplace. Many of us are brought up to believe that silence is a virtue.”

“In all my disclosures pertaining to Mr Akbar, I spoke the truth in public interest and the public good. It was my hope that the disclosures which were a part of the MeToo movement would empower women and would help them better understand their rights at the workplace,” she advised. She stated the case has come at nice private value to her. “I have nothing to gain of it. I am a well-known journalist, I live a quiet life with my family in Bangalore.”

She additionally stated that it is not straightforward for any lady to make such disclosures. “By staying silent, I could have avoided the targeting but that would not have been the right thing to do,” she added.

She additionally stated that it was improper to recommend that her tweets and articles lowered the status of Akbar in the estimation of the normal public and right-thinking members of society.

When Ramani advised court docket that Akbar made her really feel unsafe

Ramani stated, “I was 23 when the complainant (M.J. Akbar), the editor of the soon-to-be launched Asian Age newspaper called me to his hotel for a job interview. When I got there I expected the interview to be in the lobby or the coffee shop, but Akbar insisted that I come up to his room. I was young, it was my first job interview, I did not know that I could refuse, I did not know that I could set the terms of my interview.”

She added, “When I reached his room, it was an intimate space essentially his bedroom and I was deeply uncomfortable and felt unsafe at Mr Akbar’s repeated inappropriate personal questions, his offer of an alcoholic beverage, his loud singing of songs and his invitation to sit close to him. Later that night, I called my friend Nilofer Venkatrama and told her what had happened.”

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