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Recording of witnesses statements was concluded on Friday in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal at the Patiala House Court in the defamation suit filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar in against journalist Priya Ramani.

In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him by several women in October last year, Akbar had filed a defamation case against Ramani, one of his accusers. Akbar had approached the Patiala House Court under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, terming the allegations levelled against as “false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous”. Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual harassment and misconduct in a series of tweets published in October and republished an article she had written a year earlier in which she had written about how she was treated but without naming Akbar. Two months, in the republished version, she revealed Akbar’s identity.

The Court today recorded the statements of three more witnesses – Tapan Chaki, Manzar Ali and Rachna Goel, all of whom were equally effusive in praise of Akbar, calling him “gentleman, well mannered, impeccable credentials” etc.

The matter will be next heard on January 22.

—India Legal Bureau

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