Journalist Priya Ramani told a Delhi court that she stands by her statement and that there is no chance of arriving at a settlement in MJ Akbar defamation case.
During the previous hearing, the newly transferred Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Rouse Avenue Court had asked MJ Akbar and Priya Ramani whether there was any scope to settle the matter.
Arguments by both parties in the MJ Akbar defamation case
Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra appearing for MJ Akbar submitted on Tuesday that if Ramani was ready to apologise, necessary instructions could be taken.
“I’ve gone on with my matter.. if the accused was apologetic.. If there’s any indication from them, I will ask my briefing counsel,” she said.
Advocate Bhavook Chauhan, for Ramani, however said,
“Ramani stands by her statement. If the Complainant (Akbar) wants to withdraw then he may bring it on record.”
The suggestion was quickly rejected by the counsel for Akbar, advocate Sandeep Kapur who said,
“Let’s continue on merits.”
MJ Akbar defamation case background
In October 2018, MJ Akbar had filed a criminal defamation complaint against journalist, Priya Ramani after she took to twitter to level allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Earlier in the day, Luthra began her final submissions in the defamation case.
Since a new judge has taken over, parties have been asked to make final submissions afresh.
Luthra reiterated that the three ingredients of criminal defamation – reputation, dissemination of information and a consequent lowering of reputation – were made out and proved in the case.
She argued that Ramani’s statements were per se defamatory and made deliberately with malafide intention.
Claiming that Ramani has no defence, Luthra remarked,
“The accused has unsupported statements as evidence.. she (Ramani) and her second witness (Nilofer) have contradicted themselves.. it (the allegation) is not supported by CCTV or hotel record.”
In an attempt to show her irresponsible nature, it was also asserted that Ramani had made an incorrect tweet alleging that Akbar had resigned when he hadn’t.
Luthra concluded her submissions after showing judgments to argue that due care and caution should have been taken by Ramani.
The matter would be heard next on December 2.