MJ Akbar’s counsel makes closing arguments in Priya Ramani defamation case; subsequent listening to on 24 Dec

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Senior Advocate Luthra labelled Ramani’s statements towards Akbar “baseless” and “factually inaccurate”.

File photos of MJ Akbar and Priya Ramani. PTI

MJ Akbar’s lawyer Geeta Luthra made her concluding arguments on Tuesday in a Delhi court docket within the former Union minister’s defamation case towards journalist Priya Ramani.

During the #MeToo motion in 2018, Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct in an incident courting almost three many years in the past.

In the previous hearing, Ramani’s lawyer Rebecca John had accomplished her submissions earlier than Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Okay Pandey.

According to Bar & Bench, senior advocate Luthra instructed the court docket that John’s submissions on behalf of Ramani had made it appear as if Akbar was the accused. “She [Ramani] has not filed the complaint. It was [Akbar’s] reputation that was tarnished,” Luthra stated. “[This] is a defamation case and not a sexual harassment case by her [Ramani].”

“You have to work every day to build such a reputation. Akbar is [sic] a top journalist in India. He worked for 40 years, during which there was not an allegation against him. In 2018, [Ramani] said something for the first time and tarnished [Akbar’s] reputation of 40 years,” Luthra added.

Akbar’s authorized group countered Ramani’s counsel’s argument for why others who had made related allegations towards the previous editor and minister had not been named within the defamation swimsuit alongside Ramani.

“You can’t say why didn’t you file complaint against A or B,” Luthra stated. “Their defence is ‘why have we not made others accused?’. It’s not a legally tenable argument.”

Luthra labelled Ramani’s statements towards Akbar “baseless” and “factually inaccurate”.

Further, studying the 2017 Vogue article during which Ramani had first outlined her allegations of sexual harassment, albeit with out mentioning Akbar in it, Luthra contended that the nameless male boss to whom the piece is addressed and to whose conduct it refers, is clearly meant to be a single particular person; she refuted Ramani’s competition that ‘some parts of the article referred to Akbar and others didn’t’, Live Law reported.

The listening to will now proceed on 24 December.

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