Allegations Against MJ Akbar "A Jolt", Say Witnesses In Defamation Case

7 December, 2018 12:23 PM

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Allegations Against MJ Akbar "A Jolt", Say Witnesses In Defamation Case

MJ Akbar was one of the most high profile people to be outed in India's #MeToo movement. He was accused of sexual misconduct by over 20 women.

A Delhi court on Friday recorded the statements of two witnesses in the defamation case filed by MJ Akbar against his former colleague Priya Ramani, who had accused him of sexual misconduct.

MJ Akbar's two former colleagues, Sunil Gujral and Veenu Sandal deposed as witnesses before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal and said the allegations came as a shock to them and irreparable damage was caused to his reputation.

Mr Gujral, publisher of the Sunday Guardian, who appeared as a complainant witness to support defamation case filed by Akbar, testified that as a colleague and a friend, he never heard anything wrong about MJ Akbar.

"I spoke to Akbar thereafter as I felt embarrassed and let down. Besides this, my embarrassment was compounded as friends and acquaintances who knew of all my old association with Akbar of almost 40 years started asking embarrassing questions, which made me feel very bad since I felt that irreparable damage has been done to Akbar's reputation," he said. The second witness said she heard about Ms Ramani's tweets on October 8 and it was a "huge jolt" to her.

MJ Akbar had earlier told the court that "immediate damage" has been caused to him due to the "scurrilous", concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

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