MJ Akbar (File photo)
MJ Akbar (File photo)

Witnesses depose before Delhi court in MJ Akbar defamation case

ANI | Updated: Jul 17, 2019 17:57 IST

New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): Two more witnesses cross-examined in connection with a defamation case filed by former union minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani after she levelled sexual harassment charges against him.
Tapan Chaki and Sunil Gujral appeared before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal, where they were cross-examined by Ramani's counsel Rebecca John.
Tapan Chaki was Akbar's neighbour and publisher of his newspaper Asian Age, while Sunil Gujral was the former colleague, publisher and printer of Sunday Guardian, founded by Akbar.
During the cross-examination, Gujral said that he had never heard anything negative about Akbar.
"In my capacity as a neighbour, friend and a colleague, I had never heard anything negative about him. I found him a very hardworking man, keeping long working hours and travelling for political stories," he deposed before the court.
Gujral said that the revelations tarnished Akbar's image in his eyes and came as a surprise to most of the people.
Another witness, Chaki told the court that it is incorrect to suggest that he deliberately feigned ignorance about reading the tweets and articles of multiple other women against Akbar.
The court has now fixed August 2 for cross-examination of other witnesses in the case.
Akbar had also appeared several times before the court for cross-examination.
Ramani had on April 10 pleaded not guilty before the court and claimed trial after the court framed defamation charges against her on a criminal complaint of Akbar.
In one of the past hearings, the ACMM had also granted a permanent exemption to Ramani from personal appearance in the hearings to follow.
In February, Ramani was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 10,000. She was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign.
Akbar had filed a defamation case against the journalist for accusing him of sexual misconduct. The allegations levelled against him forced him to resign from the Union Cabinet on October 17, 2018. (ANI)