Never heard of allegations of sexual misconduct by MJ Akbar, witnesses tell court

Sunil Gujral told the court that he had never heard anything negative about Akbar and that his reputation in the society was impeccable.

Published: 17th July 2019 08:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2019 08:40 PM   |  A+A-

Former Union Minister MJ Akbar

Former Union Minister MJ Akbar (Photo | EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Two witnesses, appearing in support of the criminal defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar, told a Delhi court Wednesday that nobody ever mentioned anything resembling the allegations levelled by scribe Priya Ramani, who has accused him of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo campaign.

Tapan Chaki, a corporate communications consultant based in Kolkata, and Sunil Gujral, a businessman and Akbar's neighbour and family friend in Kolkata, deposed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.

"There was never any occasion where anybody even mentioned anything remotely resembling such allegations, Chaki.

"The tweets and publications by Priya Ramani have caused enormous damage to his reputation," said Chaki.

ALSO READ: Priya Ramani’s allegations not true, says MJ Akbar

Gujral told the court that he had never heard anything negative about Akbar and that his reputation in the society was impeccable.

The court has posted the matter for further proceedings on August 2.

Akbar, who had resigned as minister on October 17 last year following the allegations levelled during the campaign, had told the court that "Ramani's tweets used language that was deeply offensive, maligning, in bad faith, and a web of fabrication spun out of the lies".

Akbar filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ramani after his name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India.

Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist.

ALSO READ: Wrong to suggest Priya Ramani's tweets were meant to raise awareness on sexual harassment, says MJ Akbar

He has denied the accusations.

Akbar had earlier told the court that the allegations made in the article in Vogue and the subsequent tweets were defamatory on the face of it as the complainant had deposed them to be false and imaginary.

He had told the court in his statement that an "immediate damage" has been caused to him due to the scurrilous, concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct.

Multiple women have come out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him while he was working as a journalist.

Akbar has termed the allegations "false, fabricated and deeply distressing" and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them.

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