New Delhi [India], December 5 (ANI): Former Union Minister MJ Akbar did not have a "sterling reputation" as claimed by him, journalist Priya Ramani on Saturday told a Delhi court hearing a criminal defamation complaint filed against her.
Senior advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Ramani, advanced her final arguments before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey and said that Akbar chose to file a defamation complaint against her despite the fact that there were many women who had made allegations against him.
John told the court that at least 15 to 16 women had tweeted against Akbar.
"Akbar, according to him, was in a relationship with a junior who was 20 years younger... this is not sterling reputation," John told the court. The senior advocate also took the court through Ramani's statement and said that she is denying that Akbar's reputation was impeccable.
Pointing out that Akbar admitted that he was in a consensual relationship, which was hampering his family life, she asked: "Is this the conduct of the man with a sterling reputation? As a man who is married to someone else, he is having a consensual relationship."
The court, which was hearing the final arguments in the defamation case filed by Akbar against Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct during the #Metoo movement, listed the matter for further hearing on December 10.
The matter was heard afresh after a new judge took over the case after the transfer of the magistrate, who was hearing the matter before. Earlier, the final argument was heard by then ACMM Vishal Pahuja, who has now been transferred.
Akbar, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, had on October 17, 2018, resigned as the union minister after his name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct, a charge denied by him. (ANI)