MJ Akbar on Wednesday resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs. He faced several allegations of sexual harassment and assault due to which he took this step. MJ Akbar on 15th October had filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani, the journalist.
She was the one recently leveled charges of sexual misbehavior against him as the #MeToo movement raged in India.
The minister had accused Priya Ramani of “willfully, intentionally, deliberately, and maliciously” defaming him and had required her prosecution under the severe provision on defamation.
“The accuser (Akbar) also had an extensive career in journalism, he launched first weekly political news magazine of India,” the criticism had said and listed out defamatory charges made by Priya Ramani on social media against the minister.
At the same time, it is evident that the accused has resorted to a sequence of maliciously staid allegations. Additionally, she is viciously and diabolically spreading in social media; it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (MJ Akbar) is being dispersed in a provoked manner for the fulfillment of an agenda, the complaint had said.
It had expressed as “scandalous” the allegations made by Priya Ramani against the minister. It also stated, “very tone and tenor” are ex-facie offensive. They have not only spoiled his reputation and goodwill in his social circle but also affected the reputation of MJ Akbar in the society and friends, family and social group and caused irreversible loss and tremendous grief.
“He should have resigned earlier. He was sitting in a position of authority,” ABP News stated Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera as a statement.
He should have resigned earlier. He was sitting in a position of power: Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera on MJ Akbar
— ABP News (@abpnewstv)
After his resignation, Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women stated that “He should be a shame for having delayed it for so long.” The credit for the resignation goes not to the government or MJ Akbar but directly to the #MeToo movement. Especially to those daring women who reported the assault and those who stood by them, she said.
The story till now
#MeToo campaign has become the awful nightmare for the Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar. Recently Akbar filed the defamation suit against 14 accusers for sexual stalking. Now more than 20 accusers along with Tunisha Patel #MeToo accused him of the sexual stalking during #MeToo movement.
Additionally, all 20 women have signed-up on the petition that was a part of the Asian Age in the year 1994 started by the minister. They are requesting to the court in their appeal to take notice of and consider their statement.
There are three leading journalists in the list of their petition who works for leading newspapers. Meenal Baghel who was the editor of Mumbai mirror, Suparna Sharma, The Editor of The Asian Age in Delhi and AT Jayanthi, editor of Deccan Chronicle.
A day after Union minister M.J. Akbar filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, a journalist. She along with two more women came forward with their statement of alleged harassment by the minister.
In addition to this, it is undeterred and courageous as the #MeToo movement continued to roll on. MJ Akbar, who has engaged top law associations to file a criminal defamation suit against Priya Ramani, lauded the BJP government for its execution of the National Food Security Act on social media.