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#MeToo: M.J Akbar's appeal regarding Priya Ramani's acquittal has been deferred by Delhi HC

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#MeToo: M.J Akbars appeal regarding Priya Ramanis acquittal has been deferred by Delhi HC
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M.J. Akbar's appeal against the acquittal of journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case he filed against her has been deferred until next month by the Delhi High Court.

A hearing on the matter was held before the Court of Justice Mukta Gupta, during which arguments for leave to appeal were heard. The Court approved the application for leave to appeal, and the matter will continue.

Senior Advocates Rajeev Nayar and Geeta Luthra represented M.J. Akbar. They were briefed by The Karanjawala Co. team of Vir Sandhu, Vivek Suri, Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey and Sandeep Kapur, Senior Partner.

In the case of Priya Ramani, Advocate Bhavook Chauhan represented her.

Earlier this year, a Delhi court had acquitted Ramani in the case, saying that even decades after the incident, she has the right to make her grievance known on any platform she wishes.

"Females cannot be punished for raising a voice against the sexual abuse on the pretext of complaint of defamation," wrote the court further. "The right of reputation cannot be protected at the expense of the right to dignity."

In 2018, Ramani made accusations of sexual harassment against Akbar, following the #MeToo movement. He filed a criminal defamation case against her and resigned from his position as the Union Minister. The trial started in 2019 and lasted for almost two years.

A year after writing an article for Vogue, Ramani revealed the person she alluded to as a harasser was Akbar. She had been sexually harassed by a former boss at the time of a job interview for the publication.

In his testimony, Akbar argued that Ramani's allegations were fictitious and cost him his stellar reputation while Ramani denied these claims, pleaded truth as her defence, and said her allegations were made in good faith, for the public's benefit, and in the public interest.

It is important that the judgement in the case sets a precedent for similar cases that will follow the discourse-changing #MeToo movement.

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TAGS:MeToo allegations Metoo MJ Akbar Delhi HC 
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