NEW DELHI: Referring to former Union minister M J Akbar, journalist Priya Ramani instructed a Delhi court on Wednesday that an individual accused of sexual harassment can’t be of high popularity.
Ramani is dealing with a legal defamation grievance filed by Akbar, who has been accused by her of sexual misconduct over 20 years in the past when he was a journalist.
Ramani, who had made allegation of sexual misconduct towards Akbar within the wake of #MeToo motion in 2018, additionally accused him of undermining the sexual harassment that ladies undergo at office by terming her allegations as “fictitious”.
She made the submission earlier than Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar via senior advocate Rebecca John in the course of the remaining listening to of Akbar’s legal grievance towards her for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct a long time in the past.
John mentioned although it was a undeniable fact that Ramani didn’t title Akbar within the Vogue article of 2017, “in her evidence she has explained that it was #MeToo that gave her the courage to name him in her tweet”.
“Merely because the accused (Ramani) had not named in 2017, it does not take away the credibility of the allegations made at the height of the #MeToo,” she mentioned.
Countering Akbar’s allegation that Ramani’s declare of having confronted sexual misconduct was “fictitious”, John mentioned, “How is this fictitious? When I recall something that happens me it is a real life story and not fictitious. You are undermining the sexual harassment that women go through at workplace.”
John additional referred to Akbar’s reported consensual relationship with a 23-year-old subordinate at office.
“This is what harassment looks like. No human being accused of sexual harassment can be a person of high reputation.
“No journalist responsible of contempt of court can be a person of high popularity. Writing books doesn’t outline popularity,” she said, pointing out that Akbar was held guilty by Delhi high court in a contempt of court case.
John further said that ten women had made allegations against Akbar, as admitted by him.
“She (Ramani) is naming them and if this does not present predatory behaviour, nothing does,” she said.
Ramani further denied Akbar’s allegations that she did not make proper enquiry before writing the article, and said, “When I (Ramani) am speaking about myself and my very own private expertise, whom do in inquire from? I’m an eye fixed witness in my very own case. I might have solely requested Akbar. We had been the one two within the case.”
The court will hear the matter further on February 1.
Akbar had filed the criminal defamation complaint against Ramani in October 15, 2018.
He resigned as Union minister on October 17, 2018.
Akbar had earlier told the court that Ramani had defamed him by calling him with adjectives such as ‘media’s biggest predator’ that harmed his reputation.
He has denied all the allegations of sexual harassment against the women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him.
Over 20 women came up with accounts of the alleged sexual harassment by Akbar while they were working as journalists under him.
He termed the allegations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and mentioned he was taking acceptable authorized motion towards them.