A Delhi court on Tuesday reserved for January 29 its order on summoning senior journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar.
Ms. Ramani has allegedly accused him of sexually assaulting women journalists when they were working with him.
Mr. Akbar has sought Ms. Ramani’s prosecution for “willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming” him.
Several women journalists last year alleged the former Minister had sexually assaulted them and others in the past few decades at publications he edited, including The Telegraph and The Asian Age newspapers.
In his complaint, Mr. Akbar alleged that “the accused [Ms. Ramani], while putting forward defamatory statements relating to incidents which allegedly occurred 20 years ago, simultaneously admits that the complainant has not done anything to her.”
He has sought her prosecution under Section 499 (defamation) and punishable under Section 500 of the IPC. The offence attracts simple imprisonment of two years or fine or both.
While recording his evidence in the case last November, Mr. Akbar said that his reputation had suffered damage due to the “scurrilous and false charges’’ levelled by Ms. Ramani.
Six more witnesses, including the Editor of the Sunday Guardian Joyeeta Basu, recorded their evidence in support of Mr. Akbar.