MJ Akbar likely to be shown the door over harassment charges

MJ Akbar likely to be shown the door over harassment charges

MJ Akbar likely to be shown the door over harassment charges

Central Minister MJ Akbar, accused of sexual harassment by 14 women, has filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, who was the first to come out with her account as part of the Me Too movement.

A portion of the complaint filed by advocate Sandeep Kapur reads that the scandalous allegations leveled by Priya Ramani against the Akbar herein are ex-facie defamatory and have not only damaged the goodwill and reputation of the complainant but have also affected the personal reputation of the complainant in the society thereby causing him irreparable loss and tremendous distres.

Calling the allegations against him "false and fabricated", he said that "Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections". Feebly adding, he is being targeted right before the 2019 general elections, which, according to him, is proof that the accusers have a political agenda.

The MoS has also specifically cited the instance of Ms Ghazala Wahab who hailed from a non-metro urban centre in UP and who claimed that she had been repeatedly hugged, kissed and molested by Akbar during her tenure as a young internee at the The Asian Age Delhi office in 1997.

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"In the interests of a fair probe, moral and public propriety, it would only be appropriate that the Minister steps down from his post till such time as the inquiry is completed", the Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corps, South Asian Women in Media and Press Association said in a joint statement. They have all denied the allegations.

"Legal action has been taken in these cases as well". Officials said the commission is deeply moved by the rising number of women and girls narrating their horrific ordeals with sexual predators through the #MeToo campaign.

In October 2017, senior journalist Priya Ramani wrote an open letter to "Dear Male Boss" which was published in the Vogue magazine. "She did not however name me as she knew it was an incorrect story", he said on Sunday.

Akbar's criminal petition claimed that "the accused herself, while putting forward the aforementioned defamatorystatements, relating to incidents which allegedly occurred 20 years ago, simultaneously admits that the complainant has not done anything to her".

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The UK-based journalist alleged that Akbar asked her to his hotel room and made unwanted advances, including asking her to sit on his bed. "These allegations are false, motivated and baseless". "You be the judge", he said.

She said the issue of women security and self-respect is being raised in society, yet evils like sexual exploitation and harassment of women at various places are being reported.

A group of journalists on October 13 held a protest expressing solidarity with their women colleagues who have demanded proper implementation of the prevention of sexual harassment act to ensure dignity at the workplace.

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