New Delhi: Journalist Priya Ramani was Monday granted bail in the criminal defamation case filed against her by former Union minister M.J. Akbar over her allegations of sexual harassment.
A Delhi court granted bail to Ramani after she furnished a personal and surety bond worth Rs 10,000.
“I’ll share my story with the court in the hearings. The truth is my defence,” Ramani told reporters Monday.
Appearing at Patiala House Courts, Ramani also filed an application for permanent exemption from personally appearing in the case.
Her lawyer Rebecca John argued that since she is a permanent Bengaluru resident and is the mother of a child, appearing regularly for the hearings would be difficult.
“Your client isn’t even here when he’s required to be here. In a complaint case, the complainant should be present,” John told Akbar’s counsel Sandeep Kapur, senior partner at the legal firm Karanjawala and Co.
Akbar wasn’t present during the hearing which lasted less than 10 minutes.
Journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Nidhi Razdan, Sagarika Ghose, Siddharth Vardarajan and Harinder Baweja were also present at the Patiala House Courts in a show of support for Ramani.
Her exemption plea will come up in the next hearing on 10 April.
Akbar, a former editor, is facing allegations of sexual harassment and assault by at least 20 women. He resigned from his post as minister of state for external affairs on 17 October.
Shortly before resigning, he had filed the case against Ramani, one of the first women to speak out against him.
Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago.
In an article written for Vogue in October 2017, Ramani had talked about an editor who had invited her to his Mumbai hotel room for a job interview two decades ago, offered her drinks, asked her to sit beside him on the bed, and sung for her.
On 8 October 2018, as the global #MeToo movement gained momentum in India, Ramani identified Akbar on microblogging site Twitter.