#MeToo: Offending part is when Priya Ramani referred me as 'talented predator' says Akbar in Court
New Delhi, Oct 31: Editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar on Wednesday appeared before a Delhi court where his statement was recorded in connection with a defamation suit filed by him against journalist Priya Ramani who had accused him of sexual harassment.
''The defamatory/offending portion in particular apart from the rest of the article is when she (journalist Priya Ramani) referred to me a "talented predator" and an expert on "so-and-so",'' said MJ Akbar in Delhi's Patiala House Court.
'Opening sentence of her tweet explained one anomaly. When article was 1st published in Vogue, it didn't include my name. When she was asked about it, she said it was because "I had done nothing". Clearly she was advised by vogue that including my name would invite liability,'' MJ Akbar told the Court.
Akbar began his testimony by telling the court about his journalistic credentials, before venturing on to his political career.
MJ Akbar in Delhi's Patiala House Court said,''I've filed criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani for a series of tweets that she published. First one came to my notice on my return from my official tour. The tweet had a link to an article in a magazine called vogue.''
Akbar had sued Ramani, seeking her prosecution under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC for defamation. On October 17, Akbar had stepped down as a junior foreign minister following a flurry of allegations made against him by at least 15 women, who accused him of sexual misconduct during his stint as the editor of The Asian Age.
On October 19, the Patiala House court took cognizance of Akbar's complaint under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC.
Meanwhile, twenty women journalists have urged the court to also consider their testimonies and to be called as witnesses.