Who is Priya Ramani? Know all about the defamation case filed against her by BJP MP MJ Akbar

A Delhi court docket acquitted journalist Priya Ramani on Wednesday in a prison defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ 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 repute can’t be protected at the value of the proper to dignity. 

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey stated, “The woman has the right to put her grievances at any platform of her choice and even after decades,” including, “Women cannot be punished for raising voice against the sexual abuse in the pretext of complaint of defamation.”

Ramai stated, “This battle has been about women, hasn’t been about me. I just happen to represent all the women who spoke up, the women who spoke up before me and the ones who spoke up after me. I thought this was a very apt judgment. My victory will definitely encourage more women to speak up and it will also make powerful men think twice before they take victims to court. Don’t forget that I was the accused in this case. I was accused just for speaking up.”

She added, “I thank everyone who stood by me, especially my witnesses who came to court and testified on my behalf. I thank the court for this verdict. I thank my lawyers, Rebecca John and her amazing team…They put their heart and soul into this case.”

Who is Priya Ramani?

Ramani is a journalist who started her profession at The Asian Age in 1994. She has additionally labored with 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, a web site about the rule of legislation 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 commenced with “Dear Male Boss.”

What was Priya Ramani’s allegation against MJ Akbar?

In 2018, in wake of the #MeToo motion in India, Priya Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment throughout his stint as the editor of The Asian Age in the 90s, after which he resigned as a Union minister. Akbar was the then Minister of State for External Affairs.

Akbar had resigned on October 17, 2018 after Priya Ramani, by means of an article revealed in way of life journal Vogue India, had levelled costs of sexual harassment with out naming him. 

On October 8, 2018, the journalist first named the editor-turned politician in a Twitter put up.

Taking to Twitter, Ramani had revealed that an article she had written final 12 months about an editor inviting her to his resort room for a job interview and asking her to take a seat on the mattress with him, was Akbar. 

Following this, a number of allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against the former editor. 

Akbar sued Ramani

Refuting the costs, MJ Akbar had termed them as “a figment of imagination” and had additionally dismissed the #MeToo motion as a “viral fever” in an announcement.

The former Union minister had then sued Ramani, looking for her prosecution beneath Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for defamation. 

Later whereas showing earlier than the court docket, Akbar had termed the allegations levelled by Priya Ramani as “concocted and false” and one thing which has brought on “immediate damage” to his repute. 

“The opening sentence of her tweet explained one anomaly. When the article was first published in Vogue, it didn’t include my name. When asked about it, she said it was because ‘I had done nothing’. Clearly, she was advised by Vogue that including my name would invite liability….There was immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of the concocted and false allegations. I was attacked about the alleged and fabricated non-events. I chose to seek justice in my personal capacity without the appurtenance of the office and that’s why I resigned,” he was quoted as saying by information company ANI.

What was Ramani’s assertion against Akbar?

In September 2019, whereas recording her assertion as a witness in a defamation plaint filed against her by Akbar, Ramani affirmed that her disclosures against Akbar had 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 the 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 informed. 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 flawed to counsel that her tweets and articles lowered the repute of Akbar in the estimation of the normal public and right-thinking members of society.

(With company inputs)

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