Sat, 16 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], December 2 (ANI): Journalist Priya Ramani on Wednesday told a Delhi Court that her disclosure relating to former union minister MJ Akbar was made in good faith and for public good.

Defending Ramani in the defamation case filed against her by former union minister MJ Akbar, Ramani's counsel and Senior Advocate Rebecca John told the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Ravindra Kumar Pandey that Ramani pleaded truth as her defence.

"I have pleaded truth as my defence, that my disclosure was made in good faith, for public good. The reason I have done so because it touched a question of public importance," John made the submission on behalf of Ramani while advancing her final argument.

She also stated that defamation is not an absolute offence and it is a justifiable offence.She stressed that evidence, in this case, has to dealt with differently and as per the standard laid down by Supreme Court.

Arguing that the court will have to come to a conclusion that although an imputation was made, no case for defamation is made out, she said: "It is not defamation if imputation relates to something that touches a public question."The court, which was hearing final argument, listed the matter for December 5 for further hearing.

The matter was heard afresh after a new judge has taken over the case after the transfer of earlier magistrate. Earlier the final argument was earlier heard by then ACMM Vishal Pahuja, who has now been transferred.

MJ Akbar, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct. Akbar 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. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct, a charge denied by him. (ANI)

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