#MeToo: No mutual settlement in M. J. Akbar defamation case
New Delhi, November 24, 2020
Journalist Priya Ramani on Tuesday told a Delhi court that she stood by her statement and that there is no chance of settlement in the defamation case filed by former Union Minister M. J. Akbar against her for tweets accusing him of sexual harassment.
On November 21, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey, who has started hearing afresh the final arguments in the case, asked Ramani and Akbar whether there was a chance of settlement between them in the case.
During the course of proceedings on Tuesday, Akbar's counsel, senior advocate Geeta Luthra said that she would ask her client to consider closing the complaint if Ramani was apologetic for her allegations.
"Ramani stands by her statement. If the complainant wants to withdraw, then he may bring it on record," said advocate Bhavook Chauhan appearing for Ramani.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018, Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment during his previous role as newspaper editor 20 years ago. Pursuant to her accusation, several former colleagues of Akbar came out with different allegations against him.
Akbar resigned as Union Minister thereafter and filed a criminal defamation case against Ramani, asserting that her allegations were "false" and that it had cost him his stellar reputation.