He had filed a defamation case against a journalist
Meesha Shafi has called the ruling in a high-profile harassment case in India a “milestone victory” for #MeToo movement in South Asia.
Indian journalist Priya Ramani was acquitted in a defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar. Priya had accused him of sexual harassment.
We salute the courage with which you stood up to those in power. 💫🙏🏼
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) February 17, 2021
“I feel vindicated,” Priya said Wednesday. “My victory will encourage more women to speak up and make powerful men think twice before taking victims to court.”
“I feel vindicated. My victory will encourage more women speak up and make powerful men think twice before taking victims to court,” says #PriyaRamani, after being acquitted by Delhi court on Wednesday in the defamation case filed by #MJAkbar.
— BOOM Live (@boomlive_in) February 17, 2021
In 2018, Priya became the first of many women to publicly accuse Akbar, who was also a high-profile newspaper editor, of sexual harassment.
“My victory belongs to everyone who spoke up during the #MeToo movement,” she said to The Hindu.
Many people, including celebrities, hailed the Delhi court’s ruling as an important step towards fighting sexual harassment at workplaces.
Lawyer Reema Omer remarked Priya’s victory is a lesson for those who try to silence sexual assault survivors using defamation suits.
“Right of reputation can’t be protected at the cost of right to dignity”
An important lesson for those who seek to use criminal defamation to silence survivors of sexual harassment https://t.co/6FbnaUz456
— Reema Omer (@reema_omer) February 17, 2021
Priya’s lawyer Rebecca John called her case the most important case of her career.
#PriyaRamani‘s lawyer Senior Advocate Rebecca John speaks to the media after the acquittal in #MJAkbar‘s defamation case.
“Defence of truth pleaded by Priya Ramani was vindicated”, John says. pic.twitter.com/Ae4V8Au9hK
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 17, 2021
Priya was inspired by the #MeToo movement started in the United States, after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault in 2017, according to AFP.
She had written an article for Vogue in 2017 titled To the Harvey Weinsteins of the World, in which she wrote about her job interview with Akbar.
“You know how to pinch, pat, rub, grab and assault,” said Priya. “Speaking up against you still carries a heavy price that many young women cannot afford to pay.”