#MeToo: Union Minister MJ Akbar files criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 15, 2018, 03.28 PM(IST)

File photo: MJ Akbar. Photograph:( DNA )

Union Minister MJ Akbar has filed a criminal defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani. 

Over 10 women have accused Akbar of sexual assault and harassment from when he was a newspaper editor. 

Also read: Akbar returns, says he will take legal action

The latest charge came on Friday from the US-based CNN journalist Majlie de Puy Kamp who said Akbar forcibly kissed her — she had he put his tongue into her mouth — on her last day in office when she was interning with the Asian Age.

She was 18 at the time. 

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But Akbar has zeroed in on Priya Ramani because he says she began "this campaign" against him a year ago (see her tweet below). 

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Akbar returned to India only yesterday. He had been in Nigeria leading a trade delegation. 

He had been expected to resign; a few television channels even ran reports Sunday saying he had emailed his resignation.

But Akbar finally released a statement saying "accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections" (see his tweet below).

He added that his "lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action". 

News reports Monday quoted five of the women journalists who had accused Akbar of assault and harassment as saying they stood by their statements and would fight him.