Journalist Priya Ramani, against whom Minisiter M J Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation suit after she, and several other women alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Akbar, has responded saying she is ready to fight "allegations of defamation" against her.
In a statement Ramani said that rather than engaging the serious allegations that have been levelled against Akbar by several women, "he seeks to silence them through defamation."
My statement pic.twitter.com/1W7M2lDqPN— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 15, 2018
Ramani in her statement also said that Akbar has paid "no heed to the trauma and fear of survivors or the courage to speak truth to power."
Ramani concluded her statement saying "truth and absolute truth is my only defence."
Earlier on Monday the MoS for External Affairs Akbar in his complaint termed as "scandalous" the allegations made by Ramani against Akbar and said "very tone and tenor" are ex-facie defamatory and they have not only damaged his goodwill and reputation in his social circle but also affected Akbar's reputation in the community and friends, family and colleagues and caused irreparable loss and tremendous distress.
Hours after returning from a trip to Africa, Akbar had termed allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by several women as "false, fabricated and deeply distressing" and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them.
Akbar's name cropped up on social media when he was in Nigeria.
The women, who accused Akbar of sexual harassment, included Priya Ramani, Ghazala Wahab, Shuma Raha, Anju Bharti and Shutapa Paul.