‘Due Protection Given to Women’: Irani on Ramani-Akbar Case Order

“Due protection has been given to women & protectors of law can take action based on their statements,” Irani said.

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India
2 min read
“Due protection has been given to women and protectors of law can take action based on their statements,” Irani said. Image used for representation. 
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Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Wednesday, 17 February, said that due protection has been given to women and the protectors of law can take action based on their statements, in response to a Delhi trial court verdict acquitting journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case by former Union Minister MJ Akbar.

"I have stated this before, due protection has been given to women and the protectors of law can take action based on their statements," Irani was quoted as saying by NDTV at a press conference, after the judgment in the case.

The court acquitted Ramani in the defamation case by Akbar over the sexual harassment allegations levelled against him during the #MeToo movement.

What the Court Said?

The Rouse Avenue Court held the content of Ramani’s article for the Vogue magazine, that referred to Akbar, as defamatory and rejected her claims that only a few paragraphs referred to Akbar.

However, the court also took into consideration the systematic abuse at workplace, and said that, “Women can’t be punished for raising instances of sexual abuse by complaints claiming defamation.”

Pronouncing the verdict, Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey said, “The Indian Constitution allows a woman to put forward her grievance before any forum, and at any time, even after decades.”

Giving importance to dignity over reputation, the order reads, “The right of reputation cannot be protected at the cost of the right of life and dignity of a woman as guaranteed in Indian Constitution under Article 21 and right of equality before law and equal protection of law as guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.”

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