Court Asks MJ Akbar, Priya Ramani's Lawyers To Check Scope Of Settlement

Advocate Bhavook Chauhan, representing Priya Ramani, replied that he did not think the matter can be compounded due to facts related to the case being peculiar.

Court Asks MJ Akbar, Priya Ramani's Lawyers To Check Scope Of Settlement

The court listed the matter for further hearing on November 24 (File)

New Delhi:

A Delhi court on Saturday asked the counsels appearing for former Union Minister MJ Akbar and journalist Priya Ramani if there was any scope for settlement between the two in the ongoing defamation case.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey of the Rouse Avenue court observed that MJ Akbar's criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani was compoundable in nature and asked, "is there any scope of compromise?"

Advocate Bhavook Chauhan, representing Priya Ramani, replied that he did not think the matter can be compounded due to facts related to the case being peculiar. However, the court suggested the senior counsels talk to each other and inform if there was any possibility for settlement.

The final argument was earlier heard by then ACMM Vishal Pahuja, who has now been transferred. Thereafter, ACMM Ravindra Kumar Pandey began hearing the final argument and asked MJ Akbar's counsel and Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra to make a brief submission today.

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Advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for MJ Akbar, told the court that Ms Ramani had made derogatory allegations against him in an article, which tarnished and lowered her client's reputation.

After hearing the brief submission, the court listed the matter for further hearing on November 24. During the hearing today, the court also suggested that the matter can be taken up on a day-to-day basis.

MJ Akbar, the former Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct. He had on October 17, 2018, resigned as the union minister after his name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India.