MJ Akbar-Priya Ramani Case Not Transferred Out of Special Court

If the case was transferred, the final arguments would have had to be made all over again.

2 min read
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The criminal defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani will continue before the Rouse Avenue Court, the district and sessions court confirmed on Thursday, 22 October. The next hearing of the case, at its original court, is on 2 November.

Citing the Supreme Court’s directions, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vishal Pahuja, had, on Tuesday, 13 October, said that only matters filed against MPs and MLAs can be listed before the Rouse Avenue Court, where the defamation case brought on by MJ Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani was being heard so far. The matter had then gone to District and Sessions Court Judge Sujata Kohli for appropriate orders.

The case has been underway at the Rouse Avenue Court for nearly two years now.


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District and Sessions Judge Sujata Kohli had, on Wednesday, 14 October, explained that the purpose behind the designated courts is that the cases against MPs and MLAs may be tried expeditiously and if held innocent, their name is cleared. Further, she expressed concerns about all the proceedings in the Akbar-Ramani case getting vitiated due to incorrect jurisdiction.

MJ Akbar’s lawyer Geeta Luthra had urged the court to not transfer the case, stating that they had neared the end of the case at the Rouse Avenue Court, that Akbar was keen to clear his name soon, and that the court’s time and their efforts over the past two years will be wasted. Further, Luthra submitted that while the Supreme Court’s notification does want cases against MPs and MLAs to be tried by designated courts, it does not bar the courts from trying the cases filed by MPs and MLAs.

Luthra also contended that even the accused’s lawyers want the case to not be transferred out of the Rouse Avenue Court, where it was being tried for two years. However, the counsel of the accused said that they are fine with getting the case transferred because “we are bound by the mandate of the law.”

“So I leave it to your honour to decide,” said Bhavook Chauhan, appearing for the accused.

If the case was transferred, the final arguments would have had to be made all over again.

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