This came after 19 women journalists who have worked with The Asian Age came out in support of their colleague Priya Ramani, who has accused the Union minister of sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday, 16 October, listed the matter of the defamation case filed by MJ Akbar against Priya Ramani for 18 October.
Akbar, 67, has been named in multiple accounts that have surfaced in the #MeToo movement that started in India after former actor Tanushree Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of harassment during a film shoot 10 years ago. The minister had arrived from a foreign tour a day before and issued a statement trashing the #MeToo allegations and commenting: “Accusations without evidence has become a viral fever.” On Tuesday, MJ Akbar had filed a defamation suit which names only one of the multiple women who have accused him of sex harassment, but 20 women journalists have pledged to testify in court against him.
The journalists include Meenal Baghel, Manisha Pande, Tushita Patel, Kanika Gahlaut, Suparna Sharma, Ramola Talwar Badam, Hoihnu Hauzel, Aisha Khan, Reshmu Chakraborty and Kushalrani Gulab. A journalist from Deccan Chronicle, Christina Francis, has also signed the statement.