New Delhi [India], February 17 (ANI): While dismissing the criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani, a Delhi Court on Wednesday said Indian women are capable, the way should be paved for them to excel, and they only require freedom and equality.
The 'glass ceiling' will not prevent Indian women as a road block for their advancement in society if equal opportunity and social protection are given to them, the court said.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey on Wednesday passed the judgement in the criminal defamation case filed by former Minister MJ Akbar making important observations and said, "It is shameful that the incidents of crime and violence against women are happening in the country where mega epics such as Mahabarata and Ramayana were written around the theme of respect for women."
"....Most of the women who suffer abuse do not speak up about it or against it for the simple reason "The Shame" or the social stigma attached with the sexual harassment and abuse...." the court said.
Court also said the sexual abuse, if committed against a woman, takes away her dignity and her self-confidence. The attack on the character of sex-abuser or offender by a sex abuse victim is the reaction of self-defence after the mental trauma suffered by the victim regarding the shame attached with the crime committed against her, it said.
Speaking to ANI, Ramani said, "Though I was the victim, I had to stand in the court as accused. I thank everyone who stood by me especially my two witnesses who came to testify on my behalf: Gazala Wahab and Venkataraman. I thank the court for this verdict and I thank my lawyer Rebecca John and the team who believed in me and in the wider cause. They put their heart and soul in this case."
Samar Halarnkar, husband of Priya Ramani said, "I am more than happy today. These two years have seen ups and downs. It is a huge relief. Our family, friends were together to help us. There was stress and tension in the family. It was a huge support system knowing that it is right. It is absolutely worth it."
Akbar, the former Minister of State for External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Ramani was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign. The allegations levelled against him forced him to resign from the Union Cabinet on October 17, 2018. (ANI)