The Patiala House Court in Delhi Thursday began hearing on M J Akbar's criminal defamation charges against journalist Priya Ramani, who has accused him of sexual misconduct two decades ago. Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, representing former minister of state for external affairs, started referring to alleged controversial tweets of Ramani before additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal. Akbar resigned as Union minister on Wednesday.
Ramani recently accused the editor-turned-politician of sexual misconduct as the #MeToo campaign took India by storm. After Ramani named him, more women posted stories against Akbar. Around 19 women journalists had come out in her support on Tuesday evening, saying she was not alone and that they would testify in court against Akbar.
"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 levelled against me..." Akbar said in a statement on resigning as Union minister on Wednesday.
HIGHLIGHTS of the defamation case hearing
Delhi court takes cognisance of Akbar's defamation case and fixes it for recording his statement on October 31
Luthra refers to Akbar's reputation as a journalist and asks court to take cognisance of his complaint
Ramani's allegations caused irreparable loss to Akbar's reputation built over 40 years, says Geeta Luthra
Akbar has resigned due to these allegations and they show the damage caused to his reputation, says his lawyer
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, representing Akbar, refers to tweets of Priya Ramani before Delhi court
Hearing on criminal defamation case of M J Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani underway