Journalist Priya Ramani (File photo)
Journalist Priya Ramani (File photo)

No 'mala fide', 'extraneous motive' in making sexual misconduct allegations against Akbar: Journalist Priya Ramani

ANI | Updated: Nov 21, 2019 20:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 21 (ANI): Journalist Priya Ramani on Thursday told a court here that she had no 'mala fide' and 'extraneous' motive for making sexual harassment allegations former Union Minister MJ Akbar.
During her cross-examination in a defamation case filed by Akbar, Ramani said that it would be wrong to suggest that her allegations harmed the reputation of the complainant -- MJ Akbar.
The cross-examination of Ramani and her friend Nilofer was conducted before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vishal Pahuja as the case was transferred to his court by ACMM Samar Vishal.
"It is wrong to suggest that my Tweets and publication had nothing to do with 'doing the right thing'. It is wrong to suggest that what I have done by publishing the Tweets was wrong, defamatory and malicious," she submitted before the court.
"It is wrong to suggest that my conduct as a journalist has been unethical as I had neither identified my sources nor attributed credits," she replied during the cross-examination.
Earlier, Nilofer's statement was recorded before ACMM Samar Vishal during which she briefly narrated the alleged incident of Ramani's harassment.
"I was at Nariman Point (in Mumbai) when Priya requested me to meet one hour before the interview so that I can prepare her for the interview. She came at around 6 and met at Promenade. I asked her current affairs questions which I imagined that she could be asked during the interview. A few minutes before 7, we walked to Oberoi where I dropped her and came back," Nilofer said.
"Later that night, Priya called me on my landline. She sounded upset and distort. I asked her -- Why? She told me that the interview had not gone as we discussed. To begin, the interview did not happen in a coffee shop or restaurant but was straight up called to Akbar's room."
She continued: "Ramani described feeling extremely uncomfortable as he offered her an alcoholic drink and was himself drinking the same. She also described him singing old Hindi songs, which is highly unprofessional."
"At one point, she explained as to how Akbar patted a portion of the sofa and asked her to sit close to him. The details she described were so bizarre and inappropriate that I have a picture of it in my mind till this day," Nilofer narrated.
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for MJ Akbar, objected to Nilofer's statement.
"She is like the third ghost in the room. She must have seen the colour of the Vodka," Luthra contended.
Another witness will be cross-examined on December 10, on the next date of hearing in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Akbar against Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct. (ANI)