MoS M J Akbar Hits Back At Allegations With Defamation Suit Against Journalist Priya RamaniM J Akbar during India Today State of the States Conclave 2010, New Delhi.(Subir Halder/India Today Group/Getty Images)

A criminal defamation case has been filed in Delhi’s Patiala House court against journalist Priya Ramani by M J Akbar. Ramani, along with 10 other women had accused the minister of sexual harassment. A legal suit has been filed through the minister’s advocates Karanjawala and Co a day after an official statement was released by him where he vehemently denied the accusations raised against him, as reported by The Indian Express.

The Minister of State for External Affairs has accused Ramani of “wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously” defaming him and has sought the issuance of notice to Ramani under section 499 (defamation) and section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 500 of the IPC provides that an accused may be awarded two years jail term or fine or both in the event of conviction.

Akbar had earlier released a statement regarding the case on Twitter.

The complaint is in line with a statement made by the minister on Sunday (14 October) and mentions the accusations being circulated “in a motivated manner for the fulfilment of an agenda”. It termed the allegations made by Ramani as scandalous and defamatory.

Akbar dismissed the allegations as fabricated in his statement saying that, “Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge.”

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