Updates: MJ Akbar To Record Statement In Defamation Case On October 31

Defamation case: MJ Akbar has accused Priya Ramani of "intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.

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Updates: MJ Akbar To Record Statement In Defamation Case On October 31

MJ Akbar is the most high profile person to exit his job in the wake of the #MeToo campaign.

New Delhi: 

MJ Akbar, who has filed a defamation suit against one of the multiple women, will record his statement on October 31. A Delhi court hearing the case agreed that there is merit in the arguments and a defamation case can be heard. The judge, Samar Vishal, has asked that Mr Akbar -- who was not absent today -- present himself in court on October 31 and record his statement. MJ Akbar has filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, the first woman to name him in the growing #MeToo movement in India. Ms Ramani is one of the 20 women who have accused him of sexual harassment during his stint with The Telegraph and the Asian Age, where he worked as an editor.

Mr Akbar has accused Ms Ramani of "intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.

The editor-turned-politician has been called out by multiple women over the past few days. Resigning as Minister of State for External Affairs on Wednesday evening, he said: "Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity."

Mr Akbar's name first surfaced on October 8. 

Here are the updates on the story:




Oct 18, 2018
18:52 (IST)
At a press conference, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said he was not aware of any specific meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj MJ and Akbar on sexual harassment allegations against him.
Oct 18, 2018
15:18 (IST)

"MJ Akbar seeks to silence through intimidation and harassment. Those who have spoken against Akbar have done so at great risk to personal and professional lives... truth and the absolute truth are my only defence," Priya Ramani had said.

After Ms Ramani named him, more women posted their stories against MJ Akbar. The list includes Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlie de Puy Kamp and Ruth David.
Oct 18, 2018
15:15 (IST)
MJ Akbar's lawyers told the court that Priya Ramani's article and tweets have spoiled his reputation and goodwill built over 40 years. Mr Akbar, the lawyer said, has resigned due to these allegations. The 1200 likes and 200 retweets show how widely the article was read and her tweets were picked up by international media, the lawyers said.
Oct 18, 2018
15:10 (IST)
Oct 18, 2018
14:28 (IST)
"I have gone through the complaint and other documents annexed. I take cognizance of the offence under section 500 of the IPC" Judge Samar Vishal 
Oct 18, 2018
14:27 (IST)
Ms Luthra highlights Mr Akbar's professional history to establish his reputation, which has now been tarnished according to the complainant. "Priya Ramani has tweeted defamatory tweets against complainant. Her 2nd tweet was clearly defamatory&liked by 1200 people," she argues in court.
Oct 18, 2018
14:27 (IST)
Geeta Luthra pointed out to the judge that the case holds merit as it affects the client. "The tweet is clearly defamatory. It is lowering my reputation. It is years and years after what she claims these events took place," Ms Luthra, who is representing Mr Akbar, said.
Oct 18, 2018
14:20 (IST)
Geeta Luthra begins reading out the tweets put out by journalist Priya Ramani indicting Mr Akbar for sexual misconduct
Oct 18, 2018
14:17 (IST)
Court begins hearing on MJ Akbar's defamation case
Oct 18, 2018
14:10 (IST)
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal will be hearing the matter
Oct 18, 2018
13:55 (IST)
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra will appear for MJ Akbar in court
Oct 18, 2018
13:54 (IST)
Oct 18, 2018
13:03 (IST)
MJ Akbar, 67, who became junior foreign minister two years ago, is the most high profile person to exit his job.
Oct 18, 2018
13:02 (IST)

The allegations surfaced against Mr Akbar while he was on a official tour to Africa. The minister returned on Sunday amid demands for his resignation, but refused to step down. He resigned only yesterday.
Oct 18, 2018
12:57 (IST)
Around 20 journalists had come out in Priya Ramani's support, saying she was not alone and that they would testify in court against Mr Akbar.
Oct 18, 2018
12:41 (IST)
So far
Oct 18, 2018
11:51 (IST)
Editors Guild of India's statement

Oct 18, 2018
11:47 (IST)

Mr Akbar has sued Journalist Priya Ramani, the first woman to name him in the growing #MeToo movement in India, accusing her of "intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.
Oct 18, 2018
11:46 (IST)
The editor-turned-politician has been called out  by multiple women over the past few days. Resigning as Minister of State for External Affairs on Wednesday evening, he said: "Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity."
Oct 18, 2018
11:46 (IST)
MJ Akbar, a junior minister in the foreign ministry, resigned on Wednesday evening over the sexual harrassment allegations leveled against him
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