MJ Akbar’s defamation case to remain with MP-MLA court

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday sent the defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani for her tweets accusing him of sexual harassment back to the same court for MP-MLA cases which was hearing it from the last two years.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Sujata Kohli has decided that the case will continue before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja. The next date of hearing is November 2, on which Akbar's counsel will make rebuttal to Ramani's final arguments.

On October 13, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had sought transfer of the matter to another court on the ground that his court was only designated to hear cases filed against MPs or MLAs.

Since the case was not filed against any lawmakers, the judge said that it needs to be transferred to a competent court of jurisdiction.

Taking up the matter the next day, the Principal District and Sessions Judge had noted that the entire trial could get vitiated if it is found that the magisterial court trying the criminal defamation case for two years did not have jurisdiction. She had then reserved the order on its transfer till Thursday.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018, Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment during his previous role as newspaper editor 20 years ago. Pursuant to her accusation, several former colleagues of Akbar came out with different allegations against him.

Akbar resigned as Union Minister thereafter and filed a criminal defamation case against Ramani, asserting that her allegations were "false" and that it had cost him his stellar reputation.

HC TELLS COPS: GIVE DETAILS OF CHILD PORN TO NCRB: The Delhi High Court has directed the police agencies to forward sexually explicit material relating to a 24-year-old woman, who was a minor when the pictures were taken, to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) for notifying the objectionable contents for removal from the Internet.

BJP to approach SC against MP HC order restricting political rallies: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday announced that BJP will go to Supreme Court against the order of the Gwalior bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court which has restricted political rallies in the state.

SC notice to Centre on plea for SOP mandating pre-litigation mediation: The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking formulation of standard operating procedure (SOP) for mandating pre-litigation mediation across the country to reduce pendency of cases.

‘SC doing its part to deal with stubble burning, Centre & states have to do theirs’: The Supreme Court is already doing its part to deal with stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana and now the Centre and the state governments have to do their bit, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday. The court made this observation while declining to entertain a plea seeking immediate steps to prevent stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana on the grounds that it would aggravate COVID-19 related problems.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal