New Delhi: The Patiala House Court on Monday granted bail to senior journalist Priya Ramani on a personal bail bond of Rs 10,000, while hearing a criminal defamation case filed against her by former Union minister MJ Akbar over the #MeToo row. Also Read - ‘He Pulled Bra Strap, Slapped on Breast’: Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’s Babita Aka Munmun Dutta's #MeToo Confession Goes Viral Again
The court has set March 8 as the next date of hearing. Also Read - Indian Idol 12 Takes Anu Malik Back as Judge After #MeToo But It's Not What You Think!
Priya Ramani appeared before a Delhi court in connection to the defamation case filed against her by MJ Akbar– after she among several other women leveled charges of sexual abuse on him during the #MeToo movement.
Ramani accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment , when he was a media personality, working with a leading national newspaper. MJ Akbar quit as the Minister of State for External Affairs 10 days after nearly 20 women accused him of sexual misconduct- with one Ghazala Wahab accusing him of molestation.
The severe nature of accusations resulted in MJ Akbar not only resigning from the Union cabinet but also subsequently filing a criminal defamation case against Ramani. The accounts of women continued to pour even after Akbar had filed the defamation case and men, who had worked in the newspapers he edited, also came out in support of the women.
The court had on January 11 recorded the statements of three more witnesses in support of the case filed by Akbar.
In total, seven people (including Akbar) have recorded their statements in the criminal defamation complaint. All the witnesses who concluded their statements in favour of Akbar said that his impeccable reputation built over the years was tarnished in their eyes and caused grave damage to his reputation by tweets and publications. Priya Ramani was then summoned by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.
Akbar, a former Congress MP who had joined the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2014, was inducted into the government in 2016.