Update at 2:27 PM: Examination of Akbar and other witnesses to be on the next date of hearing i.e. on 31st October 2018
Update at 2:20 PM: 1200 likes 200 retweets shows defamation. Tweets picked up by the media.
Update at 2:17 PM: My resignation shows how my reputation was affected: MJ Akbar
Update at 2:14 PM: "Never named him before he didn't do anything", judges questions Tweet as to "what does it mean?"
Update at 2:14 PM: Priya Ramani's tweet shown to the judge
Update at 2:10 PM: Judge arrives to hear the criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani filed by MJ Akbar
The Patiala House court on Thursday will hear the criminal defamation complaint filed by MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani who has accused him of sexual misconduct. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal will be hearing the defamation complaint of M J Akbar. This comes a day after MJ Akbar stepped down as MoS, External Affairs, following a spate of accusations of sexual misconduct levelled by several women Journalists.
Confirming the same, Akbar's lawyer Sandeep Kapur said:
"The veteran journalist-turned-politician would press for the prosecution of scribe Priya Ramani against whom he filed the defamation complaint when he was the minister", Kapur of law firm Karanjawala and Co said.
Earlier on Wednesday, 20 women journalists came forward in support of journalist Priya Ramani, who has been sued by MoS External Affairs MJ Akbar. Issuing a statement, the journalists said that Ramani is not alone in her fight and that they are ready to testify against MJ Akbar.
Several journalists have accused MJ Akbar of sexual misconduct. It began with a post by journalist Priya Ramani, who was the first one to call out MJ Akbar and accuse him of inappropriate behaviour. After her post, several other women spoke out and accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment.
With her tweet, Ramani had shared a link to her 2017 article, wherein she accused him of behaving inappropriately. Though, back then Ramani didn’t name him. However, in her tweet, she outed Akbar and also spilled the beans on why she didn’t reveal his name when she wrote the article.
MJ Akbar was allegedly asked to quit by the Government amid massive pressure by women journalists for his ouster.
"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, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs," wrote MJ Akbar in his resignation letter.