Journalist Priya Ramani has said that she is ready to fight the lawsuit with “truth as her only defence”. Her response came hours after Akbar filed a criminal defamation case against her at a Delhi court and around the same time one more woman came forward with a #MeToo story about MJ Akbar.
Akbar filed a criminal defamation case in Delhi’s Patiala House court against Ramani, accusing her of “willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously” defaming him. Ramani, along with over 10 other women, had accused Akbar of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, responding to the defamation case, a host of Twitterati promised to crowd source a fund to back Priya Ramani and other accusers. In a detailed statement on her Twitter handle, Ramani wrote that she is deeply disappointed that a union minister dismissed the allegations of several women as a political conspiracy.
Akbar, in his first statement in the entire matter, had said Sunday that the allegations of sexual harassment against him were “false and fabricated” and that they were being circulated as part of an agenda ahead of upcoming general elections.
Ramani further wrote that by instituting a case of criminal defamation against her, Akbar has made his stand clear. “Rather than engaging with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment,” the statement read.
Ramani said that the women who came out detailing episodes of sexual harassment involving Akbar had done so “at great risk to their personal and professional lives.” “At this moment, it is disingenuous to ask why they have spoken now, as we are well aware of the stigma and shame that sexual crimes inflict upon victims,” she added.