Published: Mon, October 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

M.J. Akbar sues woman alleging sexual harassment for defamation

M.J. Akbar sues woman alleging sexual harassment for defamation

The 67-year-old Akbar made his statement after returning from an official trip to Nigeria during which several women came forward with detailed accounts of sexual misconduct against him, according to NDTV.

The complaint has been filed before a magisterial court at Patiala House through Karanjawala & Co. through its senior partner Sandeep Kapur along with Principal Associate Veer Sandhu, Senior Associates Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey, Mayank Datta and Associate Gudipati G Kashyap.

In October previous year, when the #MeToo campaign peaked in Hollywood, journalist Priya Ramani had written an article for Vogue India, titled, "To the Harvey Weinstein of the world" and narrated her ordeal about the gut-wrenching incident of sexual misconduct she faced during a job interview with a renowned journalist who had "transformed Indian journalism".

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"Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections".

On Sunday, Akbar refrained from speaking on sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him at the Delhi airport and blamed columnist Priya Ramani for the entire episode.

"Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election?" he asked.

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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.

In his complaint, Akbar has stated that Ramani "resorted to a series of maliciously fabricated allegations, which she is diabolically and viciously spreading using media, it is also apparent that false narrative against the Complainant is being circulated in a motivated manner and for the fulfillment of an agenda". One woman, Anju Bharti, went to the absurd extent of claiming I was partying in a swimming pool. One of the activists, Vani Subramanian, said Mr Akbar was "not the first man to not accept his mistakes" and won't be the last. He also alleged that the malicious campaign has harmed his goodwill and reputation within the political fraternity, media, friends, family, colleagues and society at large. Journalist Majlie de Puy said, "I am not a citizen, I can not vote".

Her Tweets outing Akbar had referenced an open letter published under her name in Vogue India magazine in October 2017, which had not named Akbar but had recounted an experience when she was 23 about her "dear male boss" editor 20 years her senior. "This is the reason why no one went to the authorities for so long, because I had done nothing", he said. She claimed that, unable to cope with the harassment, she had finally left the job and had informed a female editor in Delhi that she found it hard to work with Mr Akbar. "You be the judge", he said.

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Three women, an actor, an assistant director and a journalist took to Twitter on Thursday to accuse Khan of sexual harassment.

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