New Delhi, Oct 18: The Patiala House Court on Thursday took cognizance of the criminal defamation case filed by former union minister MJ Akbar against Senior Journalist Priya Ramani, who accused him of sexual harassment.
During the hearing, the former minister’s lawyer Geeta Luthra told the court, “Irreparable damage caused to Akbar’s reputation which he has built over 40 years.”
She further said that “Priya Ramani has tweeted defamatory tweets against the complainant. Her second tweet was clearly defamatory and liked by 1200 people”.
“Articles in international & national media quoted these defamatory tweets. Tweets are defamatory unless Ramani proves anything”, Luthra added.
The Court said it will examine statements of MJ Akbar and other witnesses on October 31.
Akbar through his complaint has demanded Ramani’s prosecution under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.
He alleged that Ramani wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defamed him by making a completely false and frivolous statement which has harmed his goodwill and reputation within the political fraternity, media, friends, family, colleagues and society at large.
MJ Akbar resigned as the Minister of State External Affairs on Wednesday, following allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him by several women.
However, the journalist turned politician, had described the allegations against him as “baseless” and “fabricated”.