Priya Ramani Acquitted In Defamation Case Filed By MJ Akbar: A Timeline

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Journalist Priya Ramani, who was acquitted on Wednesday by a Delhi court in a criminal defamation case lodged by former minister MJ Akbar, said she felt vindicated on behalf of all the women who have ever spoken out against sexual harassment at work place. Reacting to the judgment by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey, who dismissed the complaint filed by MJ Akbar saying that no charges were proved against her, Priya Ramani said that it feels great to have your truth validated before the court. “It feels amazing, truly does. I feel vindicated on behalf of all the women who have ever spoken out against sexual harassment at work place,” she said.

Here is the timeline of MJ Akbar’s criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani for her allegations of sexual harassment against him: 

  • October 8, 2018: Priya Ramani names MJ Akbar in a tweet with a reference to a 2017 Vogue India article she had written titled “To the Harvey Weinsteins of the World”.
  • October 15: MJ Akbar files criminal defamation complaint before Delhi court.
  • October 17: MJ Akbar resigns as union minister.
  • January 29, 2019: Delhi court summons Priya Ramani as accused in the case.
  • February 25, 2019: Delhi court grants bail to Priya Ramani.
  • February 7, 2020: Court starts hearing final arguments in the case.
  • September 19, 2020: Judge hearing the case seeks transfer of the matter to another court on the ground that his court was designated to hear cases filed against lawmakers.
  • October 22, 2020: District judge refuses to transfer the case to another court and sends it back to the magistrate who was hearing the matter.
  • November 18, 2020: Judge hearing the case transferred.
  • November 21, 2020: New judge starts hearing afresh the final arguments in the case.
  • February 1, 2021: Court reserves the verdict after both the parties complete their final arguments.
  • February 10: Judgment adjourned to Feb 17 due to late submission of written submissions.
  • February 17: Priya Ramani acquitted, court dismisses the complaint filed by MJ Akbar saying that no charges were proved against her.