'Hope it will make more women speak up and discourage powerful men...': Acquitted in MJ Akbar defamation case, Priya Ramani has a message for #MeToo victims
'Hope it will make more women speak up and discourage powerful men...': Acquitted in MJ Akbar defamation case, Priya Ramani has a message for #MeToo victims
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Journalist Priya Ramani, who was acquitted on Wednesday by a Delhi court in a criminal defamation case lodged by M J Akbar, said she felt vindicated on behalf of all the women who have ever spoken out against sexual harassment at work place.

Reacting to the judgment by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey, who dismissed the complaint filed by Akbar saying that no charges were proved against her, Ramani said that it feels great to have your truth validated before court.

"It feels amazing, truly does. I feel vindicated on behalf of all the women who have ever spoken out against sexual harassment at work place," she said.

Ramani said the sexual harassment issue has gotten the attention it deserves.

She said, "I hope it will make more women speak up and I also hope it will discourage powerful men from filing false cases against women who share their stories."

"It was me the victim who had to stand up in the court as an accused. I thank everyone who stood by me especially my witnesses Ghazala Wahab and Niloufer Venkatraman who came to the court and testified on my behalf. "I thank the court for the verdict and I thank my lawyer Rebecca John and the amazing team who believed in me and the wider cause. They put their heart and soul in the case," she said.

After Ramani's acquittal, reactions from Bollywood celebs poured in. Actresses Taapsee Pannu, Richa Chaddha and singer Sona Mohapatra were among the others who took to Twitter to react to the news.

Pannu tweeted: "Amidst all the wrongs n unfairs happening around this did bring a ray of hope that somewhere something is keeping our hope in righteousness alive. Long live truth and justice!"

Singer Sona Mohaptra, who had accused composer Anu Malik during the #MeToo movement, thanked Priya Ramani for standing strong against MJ Akbar.

"Mr MJ Akbar’s reputation is one that stinks. So protecting it would mean harming a whole society & its dignity. This case is one for #India ‘s protection. Not just her women but also all the good people of this country. #ThankYou #PriyaRamani for standing strong. @IndiaMeToo," she tweeted.

Reactions from the media fraternity too poured in support of Ramani. Journalist Rohini Singh said, "What a fight #PriyaRamani. The downfall of every sexual predator is the only way forward."

Rana Ayyub posted a picture with Ramani and said, "Had to post this. For the love of Priya Ramani."

The Wire journo Arfa Khanum Sherwani tweeted, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” Thank you #PriyaRamani for standing up for all of us. You are our Hero !

Ramani had made allegations of sexual misconduct against Akbar in the wake of #MeToo movement in 2018.

Akbar had filed the complaint against Ramani on October 15, 2018, for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago when he was a journalist.

He resigned as Union minister on October 17, 2018.

He denied all the allegations of sexual harassment against the women who came forward during #MeToo campaign against him.

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