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Court acquits journalist Priya Ramani in MJ Akbar defamation case
Court acquits journalist Priya Ramani in MJ Akbar defamation case

New Delhi, Feb 17 (TIWN) A Delhi Court on Wednesday acquitted Journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar for accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Today, when the parties assembled in court at 2 pm, the judge said,  "Please wait outside. There are some corrections in the judgment. It will take half an hour."  When the Court reconvened, Judge Pandey noted in the order,  "...society must understand the impact of sexual abuse and harassment on its victims."  It was observed that even though Akbar was a man of reputation, even a man of social status can be a sexual harasser. Further,  "Woman has right to put her grievance even after decades."  The Court also took note of systematic abuse at the workplace, highlighting that the Vishaka Guidelines on sexual harassment at the workplace put forth by the Supreme Court in 1997 were not in effect at the time of the incident.  The verdict was initially slated to be pronounced on February 10. However, on that date, the judge deferred the pronouncement till today, stating that he had received the written submissions made by the parties late.  Ramani claimed that in December 1993, MJ Akbar sexually harassed her when she was called to The Oberoi, Mumbai for a job interview.

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