Delhi Court acquits Priya Ramani in MJ Akbar defamation case

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Journalist Priya Ramani in 2017 had joined the ‘#MeToo’ campaign that began when a series of allegations of sexual harassment were made against film producer Harvey Weinstein in the US.

She had written an article called “To the Harvey Weinsteins of the World“, in which she revealed a story of how she was a victim of sexual harassment without naming anyone. When the MeToo Movement gained momentum with women all across the world sharing their traumatic incidents, Ramani revealed that this had happened to her during an appointment with Union Minister MJ Akbar then.

MJ Akbar in response to this had filed a defamation lawsuit against Priya Ramani, with the charge that she had caused damage to his “stellar reputation” by accusing him of sexual harassment. Ramani, in her counter-argument, had stated that “truth is my defence.”

The Delhi Revenue Court today gave its verdict and dismissed the defamation case stating, “even a man of social status can be a sexual harasser.”

The verdict accepted that Akbar was not a man of stellar reputation and that his reputation is not more important than a woman’s Fundamental Right to Life.

In its verdict, the court said – “Most women do not talk about the sexual harassment due to stigma that surrounds it. Sometimes even the victim does not understand what is happening. Despite going through extreme cruelty, they chose to stay quiet.”

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