Friday, 18 October, 2019


MJ Akbar defamation case: Next hearing on October 31

MJ Akbar defamation case: Next hearing on October 31 MJ Akbar defamation case: Next hearing on October 31
Bennie Garza | 18 October, 2018, 13:56

Union Minister MJ Akbar resigned from his post on Wednesday amidst mounting pressure from journalists and activists in the wake of serious allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal considered the submissions of senior advocate Geeta Luthra, representing Akbar, who referred to various tweets of Ramani to allege that they have caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the former junior Minister of External Affairs.

After an internal investigation found him guilty of harassment, the aide used Chandrasekhar's lawyer to get a judge to impose a gag order preventing Mahajan from talking about the findings or filing charges with the police.

On Monday, he filed the case against Priya Ramani - the first female journalist to name him - under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which relate to criminal defamation. "The party can not afford to lose the perception battle when women are facing harassment", said a senior BJP leader.

But two of those accused, junior foreign minister M.J. Akbar and veteran actor Alok Nath, this week launched criminal defamation suits against their accusers. I am deeply grateful to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to the External Affairs Minister Smt. The Vishakha Guidelines issued by the Honourable Supreme Court in 1997 and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 ("POSH Act") have clearly laid down the steps to be taken to protect women at their workplaces. Following the allegations, opposition parties and various media organisations have been demanding his resignation. It appeared", said an official familiar with the discussions, "that they were totally unprepared for how many women would come out with credible allegations against the minister.

The minister has been accused by several women of sexually harassing them.

.

Priya Ramani said she looked forward to the day when she would also get justice in court.

"We hope that Mr Akbar will also display the grace to withdraw the criminal defamation case he has filed against one of these complainants".

As the #MeToo movement gained ground, 20 women journalists who worked with "The Asian Age" newspaper came out in support of their former colleague Priya Ramani. It was the Congress Party which first asked for Mr M.J. Akbar's resignation on October 10th.

One of India's most prominent editors, Akbar has edited leading English language dailies The Telegraph and The Asian Age.

"It is a women's movement for the women and by the women".

Akbar's resignation is a significant development in the country's burgeoning #MeToo story, but it is unclear whether it will have ramifications for other politicians accused of sexual misconduct.

Akbar, in his complaint, said he was seeking appropriate punitive action.

Mr Akbar is a Rajya Sabha member belonging to the BJP.

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