MJ Akbar files appeal against Priya Ramani's acquittal; Delhi HC says it will call for trial court records

Akbar's appeal against Ramani's acquittal has been listed for hearing on 11 August.

Press Trust of India May 05, 2021 17:01:14 IST
MJ Akbar files appeal against Priya Ramani's acquittal; Delhi HC says it will call for trial court records

File images of MJ Akbar and Priya Ramani. PTI

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on 5 May said it will call for the trial court records in connection with the defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani, who accused him of sexual harassment.

The trial court acquitted Ramani by dismissing Akbar's defamation complaint.

Justice Mukta Gupta said she will call for the trial court records and listed Akbar's appeal against Ramani's acquittal for hearing on 11 August. During the brief hearing, Akbar's lawyer said the trial court judgement was "perverse".

Akbar has challenged the trial court's 17 February order acquitting Ramani on the grounds that a woman has the right to put grievances before any platform of her choice, even after decades.

The trial court had dismissed the complaint filed by Akbar, saying no charges were proved against Ramani.

The court said it was of the considered view that Akbar's case regarding the commission of offence punishable under Section 500 (punishment for the offence of defamation) of the IPC against Ramani is not proved, and she is acquitted for the same.

The trial court had said it was shameful that crimes against women are taking place in a country where mega epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana were written about respecting them.

The glass ceiling will not prevent Indian women as a roadblock in advancement, in a society of equal opportunities, it had said.

Ramani made allegations of sexual misconduct against Akbar in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018.

Akbar filed the complaint against Ramani on 15 October, 2018 for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago. He resigned as a Union minister on 17 October, 2018.

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