priya ramani, mj akbar

Delhi court asks MJ Akbar, Priya Ramani for the settlement in defamation case

A Delhi court on Saturday asked if a mutual settlement could be reached between Bharatiya Janata Party MP MJ Akbar and journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case he had filed against her, reported PTI. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment in October 2018, following which he sued her.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Ravindra Kumar Pandey posed the query on Saturday as he started hearing afresh the final arguments in the case since the previous judge hearing the matter was transferred to another court on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Akbar, said she needed time to talk to her client before making a decision on the issue.

The counsel for Ramani, advocate Bhavook Chauhan, said there was less chance of any settlement since the facts of the case were peculiar.

The court asked both the parties to respond on the point of settlement and get back on 24 November, the next date of hearing.

The previous judge, ACMM Vishal Pahuja, had started hearing the final arguments in the case on 7 February this year.

Akbar had filed the criminal defamation complaint against Ramani in 15 October, 2018. He resigned as Union minister on 17 October, 2018.

Akbar had earlier told the court that Ramani had defamed him by calling him adjectives such as ''media''s biggest predator'' that harmed his reputation.
He has denied all the allegations of sexual harassment by women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him.

Over 20 women came up with accounts of the alleged sexual harassment by M J Akbar while they were working as journalists under him.
He termed the allegations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing”” and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them.