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#MeToo: MJ Akbar, Priya Ramani refuse settlement in defamation complaint case


NEW DELHI: Former minister M J Akbar and journalist Priya Ramani on Tuesday refused any settlement between them before a Delhi court in a criminal defamation complaint filed by him against her.

Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Akbar, said that if Ramani was apologetic for her allegations, she would ask her client to consider closing the complaint.

Ramani's counsel, Bhavook Chauhan, on the other hand, said she stood by her statement and if Akbar wanted to withdraw the complaint, he may do so.

After submission on behalf of Ramani, Akbar's counsel said, "Let's continue on merits". Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist.

Ramani had said the allegations against Akbar, made in the wake of #MeToo movement in 2018, were her truth and were made in public good.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Ravindra Kumar Pandey, who started hearing afresh the final arguments in the case, had on Saturday asked both the parties whether there was a chance of settlement between them in the matter.

ACMM Pandey started hearing afresh the final arguments in the case since the previous judge hearing the matter was transferred to another court last week.