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Journalist Priya Ramani today pleaded not guilty in connection with former Union Minister MJ Akbar’s defamation case against her.
The statement was made before the Court of Additional Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.
I plead not guilty, Ramani said. She further added,
“I plead truth as my defence..made in good faith, in public interest and for the public good. I will prove my defence during trial. I plead not guilty.”
Akbar had filed a defamation case against Ramani after she accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct in a series of tweets published in October 2018. Although several women had levelled allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against the former Minister, Akbar chose to file a defamation complaint against Ramani alone.
After framing charges in the criminal defamation case, Judge Vishal fixed May 4 as the date for recording evidence in the case. Consequently, Akbar will have to be present before Court on May 4.
Ramani was also granted exemption from personal appearance in the case. She was granted bail by the Court on February 25.
In his own testimony before the ACMM, Akbar had described Ramani’s allegations as “fabricated non-events”.
Ramani was represented by Senior Advocate Rebecca John.
Akbar was represented by Sandeep Kapur, Senior Partner at Karanjawala and Co, assisted by Principal Associate Veer Inder Singh Sandhu, Vivek Suri and Senior Associates Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey and Gudipati G Kashyap.