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Journalist Priya Ramani has been granted bail by a Delhi trial court today (Monday, Feb 25) after she summoned as an accused in criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar.

Speaking to the news Agency ANI, Priya Ramani said: “The next date they will frame charges against me is April 10. After that it will be my turn to tell my story. The truth is my defense.”

Ramani was among a number of women who accused Akbar of sexual misconduct during his time as an editor, forcing him to resign from the Union cabinet on October 17, 2018 after returning from a tour of Africa.

Akbar’s legal team, comprising senior advocate Geeta Luthra and lawyer Sandeep Kapur, has told the court that Ramani damaged Akbar’s reputation by leveling “false, wild and baseless allegations”.

Akbar, a Member of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh calling the allegations false and baseless had filed a defamation suit against Ramani, following which Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal summoned her.

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Among those who accused Akbar of sexual harassment is a United States-based journalist who claims that she was assaulted at a Jaipur hotel over 23 years ago, followed by instances of “sexual, verbal and emotional” defilement.

While the former Union Minister insisted that theirs was a consensual affair, she said that a relationship “based on coercion and abuse of power” cannot be couched in such terms.

The Editors Guild of India had earlier suspended Akbar from membership until the defamation case he had filed against Ramani came to its logical conclusion.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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