A Delhi Court acquitted journalist Priya Ramani today in the defamation case filed against her by former Union Minister MJ Akbar after she accused him of sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement in India in 2018.
After a trial that has taken over 2 years, the Rouse Avenue Court finally delivered the much-awaited judgment today declaring Ramani not guilty. The Court said that "a woman has the right to put her grievance even after decades."
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey said that no charges levelled against Ramani were proved. The court said it is shameful that crimes against women are taking place in a country where mega epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana have been written that empower women and teach us to respect them. The court mentioned that even a man with a high social status can also be a sexual harasser.
Ramani had accused Akbar of sexually harassing her during the #MeToo movement in 2018. In response, Akbar had filed a defamation complaint against Ramani on October 15, 2018, for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of sexual misconduct decades ago when he was a journalist.
Akbar resigned as the Union minister on October 17, 2018. He has rejected all the allegations made by the women who accussed him of sexual harassment during #MeToo campaign.
The judgment has been widely welcomed by people who believe that this judgment empowers women and speaks highly against sexual harassment. Multiple netizens are tweeting in favour of the decision as the judgment has gone viral on Twitter.
Here are some of the reactions. Have a look.