Update on sexual harassment allegations against M.J. Akbar

Final hearing on behalf of Priya Ramani was concluded today. It was stated that the defamation case against Priya Ramani was owing to a fraud that MJ Akbar tried to pull. There were several sexual harassment allegations against him that was not pointed out, these women did not know each other thus there is absolutely no colluding of any kind that happened, was stated by Priya Ramani’s lawyer.

Her lawyer stated:

“You are trying to gain an unfair advantage over the other side. The failure of Mr Akbar in mentioning the allegations by other women, and pretending that only Ramani’s statement defamed him.. Mr Akbar has not come to court with clean hands and has played a fraud on the court.

When a person tries to establish defamation on the basis of sexual harassment allegations, was it not incumbent on him to make a fair disclosure about the fact that as many as 15 other women had levelled similar allegations?

Truth is painful.. but you seek to serve the larger purpose. It has not been easy to say all this, it has taken a toll on her. But sometimes, it is cowardly if one does not speak the truth.

She added:

“.. harassment takes many forms, mental and emotional. She explained why she used to word predator. To explain the difference in power and age, between herself and MJ Akbar.. incident of sexual harassment touches upon a public question. It can never be held that such disclosure is not for public good, public interest.

“Both Ghazala and Ramani have said that they made statements in 2018 because of #MeToo movement (which) gave them a safe platform outside the legal platform.

There was no pre-planned conspiracy on part of Ramani or any other woman. Most of these women did not know each other..The women who made allegations are professionals of high standing and reputation. There is nothing to suggest falsehood or ulterior motive.”

Acquittal of Priya Ramani was pleaded and the matter would be heard on 22nd December again.

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