#MeToo: Will Indian media houses where Akbar worked testify against him?

Clay Curtis
October 15, 2018

In a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday, Mr Akbar said that the allegations are politically motivated as the country prepares for a general election next year.

Union Minister M.J. Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation complaint against a woman journalist, Priya Ramani, who had accused him of sexual harassment, alleging that "scandalous allegations" have been made to bring down his image in the society.

The complaint has been filed before a magisterial court at Patiala House through Karanjawala & Co. through its senior partner Sandeep Kapur along with Principal Associate Veer Sandhu, Senior Associates Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey, Mayank Datta and Associate Gudipati G Kashyap. "Why has this storm risen a few months before the General Election?"

On Sunday, Akbar questioned why the women who had accused him did not report the incidents previously.

Citing the accusations levelled by other journalists, Akbar said, "Let me note examples". This calls for a fair inquiry, an unbiased probe, a chance for these women to give their formal accounts, a chance which has been denied to them till now. According to sources, the government has "nothing to do with the accusations" against MJ Akbar, and his stepping down may "set a bad precedent", as reported by NDTV. It also stated that the allegations have not only damaged the minster's goodwill and reputation in his social circle but also affected his reputation in the community and friends, family and colleagues, causing irreparable loss and tremendous distress. "I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour overseas", the junior foreign minister said in a statement.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, names journalist Priya Ramani as the sole accused and says that she "intentionally put forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.

In response, Ramani said that she would 'fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence'.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby
Prince Harry , Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive into Sydney International Airport in Sydney , New South Wales. The former " Suits " actress spoke about the set-up in a BBC interview with Prince Harry following news of their engagement.

Paul added that later, when he went to Kolkata, he wanted to meet her late night at his hotel room but she excused out.

He said that his lawyers will look into the "wild and baseless allegations".

"The only office where I worked with Ghazala Wahab was that of The Asian Age".

Akbar has been a prominent figure in Indian public life for decades as an author, the editor of several newspapers, a confidante of the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and now as the only Muslim minister in India's Hindu nationalist government.

Amid an increasing clamour for Akbar's resignation, the BJP is likely to take a clear stand on the allegations of sexual harassment against him once he explains his position upon his scheduled return.

Talking to the HuffPost India, the survivor, Majlie de Puy Kamp, claimed that she was 18 whereas Akbar was 55-year old at the time of incident.

Ramani was the first woman who had accused Akbar of sexual harassment.

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