MJ Akbar case: Court records statements of two witnesses

During the height of the #MeToo campaign, Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago, a charge which was denied by him.

Published: 07th December 2018 10:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2018 10:01 PM   |  A+A-

MJ Akbar

Union Minister MJ Akbar (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A court on Friday recorded the statements of two witnesses in support of a defamation case filed by journalist and politician M J Akbar against his former colleague Priya Ramani, who had levelled allegations of sexual misconduct.

Defending Akbar, his former colleagues Sunil Gujral and Veenu Sandal deposed as witnesses before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal and said the allegations came as a shock to them and did irreparable damage to his reputation.

READ| US journalist Pallavi Gogoi slams MJ Akbar's 'consensual' statement

Gujral, a businessman, appeared as a witness for Akbar and said he never heard any whisper regarding misconduct or misbehaviour of any kind against him. "I spoke to Akbar thereafter as I felt embarrassed and let down. Besides this, my embarrassment was compounded as friends and acquaintances who knew of all my association with Akbar of almost 40 years started asking embarrassing questions, which made me feel very bad since I felt that irreparable damage has been done to Akbar's reputation in my estimation as well as in estimation of my friend circle and acquaintances," the businessman, who knows Akbar since 1979-80, testified.

Akbar, who resigned as Union minister on October 17, had filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ramani after his name cropped up on the social media when he was in Nigeria.

During the height of the #MeToo campaign, Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago, a charge which was denied by him.

Sandal, a journalist who said she knows Akbar for over 20 years, added that there was a lot of talk about this at that time. During discussions with friends and at other public places, it was embarrassing to be asked questions about Akbar as the people knew of her association with him, she added.

The court has slated the further hearing for January 11.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp