’The truth is my defence’: Priya Ramani after bail in #MeToo defamation case by MJ Akbar

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to journalist Priya Ramani, who was summoned as an accused in a defamation case filed by former Union minister M.J. Akbar after she levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal granted the bail on a bond of Rs 10,000.

Reacting to the developments, Ramani said: “The next date when they will frame the charges against me is April 10. After that it will be my turn to tell my story. The truth is my defence.”

The court had earlier directed Ramani to appear before it after noting that the allegations made against Akbar were “prima facie defamatory” and he denied all the accusations as “false and imaginary”.

Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist. He has denied the accusations.

His name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India last year. Akbar, who resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on October 17, was in Nigeria when his name came up.

Multiple women came out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him when he was a journalist.

The Editors Guild of India had earlier suspended Akbar from membership until the defamation case he had filed against Ramani came to its logical conclusion. “A majority of our executive committee members suggested that the membership of Mr Akbar be suspended,” a statement issued by the media body read.