MeToo: MJ Akbar will record his statement in a Delhi court today
Former union minister MJ Akbar, who filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, will record his statement in a Delhi court today. Mr Akbar had skipped appearing in court on October 18. If the court is satisfied with his statement, it may issue a notice to Ms Ramani for appearing before it.
Ms Ramani, the first woman to name him in the #MeToo movement is one of the 20 women journalists, who have accused him of sexual harassment during his stint as an editor at The Telegraph and The Asian Age.
Mr Akbar has accused Ms Ramani of "intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.
The editor-turned-politician resigned as junior foreign minister on October 17. After resigning, in a statement, Mr Akbar said, "Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me."
Ms Ramani said she was ready to fight the defamation complaint and "truth and the absolute truth is my only defence". Women who have spoken against Mr Akbar "have done so at great risk to personal and professional lives" Ms Ramani had said.
After Ms Ramani more women posted their #MeToo stories against Mr Akbar. The list includes Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Ruth David.
The MeToo movement, which began in the United States more than a year ago after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, gained traction in India in September , when former actor Tanushree Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. Since then, several men in the media, entertainment, political and art worlds have been accused of offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
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