In a historic win that boosted the morale of hundreds of women sexual misconduct victims, a Delhi court on Wednesday acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar, whom she had accused of sexual misconduct in 2018.
Referring to ancient epics ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayana’ in its judgement, the court said it is shameful that women are still being subjected to sexual crimes. The court accepted the contention that Akbar was not a man of stellar and impeccable reputation and pointed out that the right of reputation can’t be weighed over the right of the life of a woman.
Speaking on the victory, Priya said “I just happen to represent all the women who spoke up, the women who spoke up before me and the ones who spoke up after me. I thought this was a very apt judgment.” Thanking everyone who stood by her especially the witness, lawyer Rebecca and her team, Priya Ramani wished that her victory will encourage more women to speak up.
Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement in 2018. Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani on October 15, 2018, for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago. He has denied all the allegations of sexual harassment against the women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him.