Delhi High Court issues Notice to Priya Ramani on M J Akbar Plea

MJ Akbar Priya Ramani Law Insider IN
MJ Akbar Priya Ramani Law Insider IN

Deepali Kalia

Published on August 11, 2021 at 15:10 IST

Delhi High Court on August 11 issued a notice to Priya Ramani, a Journalist on an appeal by  MJ Akbar, former Union Minister against a Trial Court order which had acquitted Ramani in the Criminal Defamation Case filed by MJ Akbar

Ramani had levelled allegations of Sexual Harassment against Akbar in 2018 at the time of the #MeToo movement in India.

In response, Akbar had filed a Defamation suit against Ramani on October 15, 2018, accusing her of damaging his reputation.

After hearing the submissions made by Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra and Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar who were appearing on behalf of Akbar, Justice Mukta Gupta fixed the case for further hearing on January 13, 2022.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey while acquitting Ramani had stated in the ruling that “The court accepts the contention of the accused and the possibility of defence of the accused that she disclosed the truth regarding the incident of sexual ­harassment against her at the Oberoi Hotel, Bombay in December 1993 on the basis of the testimony of accused DW1 and its corroboration by the testimony of DW2 Niloufer Venkatraman.”

Advocate Rajiv Nayar however submitted before the Court that the Trial Court had erred in acquitting Ramani and the judgment should’ve been concluded when finding in Akbar’s favour was returned.

 “The case is under (Section) 499 (of IPC) (defamation). He finds at 147 pages of judgment that they are defamatory. The judgment ought to have ended at 147. All these observations were not necessary.” Advocate Nayar argued.

However, Justice Gupta observed, “That is the first step that is defamatory. If it is per se not defamatory, there is no need to go to the second step. The court will require to go to the second step only when it returns the finding that they were defamatory. After returning a finding that it is defamatory then the court will say whether this was the right defence or not. The defence of the respondent was right or not, that would be the second step and then the discussion follows. How can that be the judgment would have closed at 147.”

Also Read: #MeToo: Delhi Court acquits Priya Ramani in M.J. Akbar criminal defamation case

Related Post