Deletion of twitter account akin to deleting evidence: Counsel for Akbar

Jan21,2021 #METOO #MJ AKBAR #Twitter

Tanvi Sinha

Senior Counsel for Former Union Minister MJ Akbar, Ms. Geeta Luthra said on Thursday that on account of Priya Ramani deleting her twitter, which allegedly had primary evidence, another criminal case should be made against her.

This comes in midst of the defamation proceedings Mr. Akbar charged Ms. Ramani with, owing to her allegedly defaming him in a #MeToo case, where she allegedly said that back in his journalist days, Mr Akbar sexually harassed her.

The submission was made by the former union minister to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar during the final hearing of a case where Ms. Ramani was accused of criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.

Counsel for Akbar, Senior Adv. Luthra said that Ramani’s defence of the twitter account being deleted was curious to her, saying that “‘the court didn’t tell me to save so I didn’t’ ” How can one take a defence like that.”

Adv Luthra said that deleting her twitter account which was a primary source of evidence could result in another criminal case being made out against her and that the fact that it was deleted before the cross examination meant she destroyed it to “subserve the cause of justice”.

Adv Luthra has, since the beginning of the proceedings calling them fiction that ruined the reputation of a good man. She has also maintained that the defence saying that there were no laws that would help with workplace harassment during the time of the event, was no defence as, even if Vishakha Laws did not exist, IPC has always existed at her disposal.

Adv Luthra said that the reason why Ms. Ramani did not report the incident was because it never existed, and that the date, the location and the incident that she cannot prove, made the burden of proof on her.

Akbar had filed for criminal defamation against Ramani on October 15th 2018, two days before he resigned as Union Minister, the basis of his defamation being Ramani calling him the media’s biggest predator.

Ms. Ramani, however is not the only woman who alleged sexual misconduct against Akbar, with at least 20 women coming out with alleged sexual harassment reports from different parts of the world, the only thing common amongst them being that they worked under him at the time.

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