Priya Ramani Acquitted By Delhi Court In MJ Akbar Defamation Case
Justice Ravindra Kumar Pandey cited that a woman cannot be punished for speaking about her sexual abuse, while agreeing that such cases are traumatic making it difficult for victims come out openly
A Delhi court acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in a defamation case filed by former union Minister MJ Akbar after the former had accused him of sexual harassment in 2018. All charges were dropped against her with the judiciary citing that a woman cannot be punished for raising instances of sexual abuse and that the right of reputation, in this case of Akbar’s, cannot be protected at the cost of right to dignity.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey also agreed that most cases of such nature happen behind closed door, making it a traumatic experience for victims to speak about. He stated that according to the Indian constitution, women’s rights to put forward their grievances is not time-bound. Elated with the historic verdict, Ramani said that her victory belongs to every woman seeking courage to speak up.
In October 2018, when the me-too movement was at its peak, the illustrious writer had spoken about her unpleasant experience with Akbar through a tweet. Referring to him as a predator, she had written that maybe others from her community would also come forward to share their stories of horror with the journalist-turned-politician. As many women corroborated her claims, Akbar resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs on October 17, 2018 and sued Ramani.
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