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MJ Akbar records statement in defamation case against journalist

Akbar appeared before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal and recorded his statement to support the defamation complaint filed by him against Ramani on October 15.

SNS | New Delhi |

Former Union Minister M J Akbar, who has filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, told a Delhi court on Wednesday that an “immediate damage” has been caused to him due to the “scurrilous”, concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.

Akbar appeared before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal and recorded his statement to support the defamation complaint filed by him against Ramani on October 15.

Ramani was the first in a long list of female journalists to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment.

“Indeed there was an immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of these concocted and false allegations. I was attacked in my personal capacity about alleged and fabricated non-events allegedly done two decades ago,” he said in his statement.

He added that the allegations were false and defamatory and in the process his reputation has been tarnished.

A Rajya Sabha member, Akbar has denied all the charges made against him as “false, wild and baseless”.

Akbar said that it was apparent that a false narrative against him was being circulated in a motivated manner and with an agenda.

Akbar resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs and said he would fight the legal battle in his personal capacity.

The court has fixed November 12 for further hearing of the case when the statements of witnesses named by Akbar will be recorded.

Akbar’s name cropped up on the social media when he was in Nigeria, as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India. Multiple women have come out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him when he was a journalist.