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Priya Ramani cross-examined by M J Akbar's counsel

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Journalist Priya Ramani on Sunday was cross-examined by M J Akbar's counsel in a defamation case filed by him against the former for levelling sexual harassment charges against him.

"It is wrong to suggest that I made the allegations maliciously, deliberately and in bad faith to malign Akbar," she said in a reply to a question asked by Akbar's counsel, Geeta Luthra before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal.

To another question, the journalist said that her tweets and article did not lower the reputation of the former Union minister in the eyes of the "public or the right thinking members of the society".

The counsel asked her several questions regarding her awareness about the criminal laws in India, including the provisions of sexual harassment and Vishaka guidelines, to which she gave an affirmative reply.

Earlier today, Ramani deposed before the court and said that the case came at a great personal cost to her.

"I have nothing to gain from it. I am a well-known journalist and live a quiet life with my family in Bengaluru. It is not easy for any woman to express such disclosures," she told the court.

She said that by staying silent, she could have avoided being targeted but that would not have been the right thing to do.

"It is important for women to speak up about sexual harassment at the workplace. Many of us are brought up to believe that silence is a virtue," said Ramani.

Ramani had, on April 10, pleaded not guilty before the court and claimed trial after the court framed defamation charges against her.

In 2018, she has accused Akbar of sexually harassing her around 20 years ago.

He had, however, termed the accusations "false, fabricated and deeply distressing."

Ramani was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign.

Following her revelations, several women came out with accounts of the alleged sexual harassment by him while they were working under him as journalists.

The allegations levelled against him forced him to resign from the Union Cabinet on 17 October 2018.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 09 2019. 17:32 IST
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