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‘This Victory Belongs to Everyone Who Said #MeToo’: Priya Ramani

Journalist was acquitted by a Delhi court on 17 February in criminal defamation case by former minister MJ Akbar.

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“This case was not about me, it was about women’s experience in the workplace. My victory belongs to everyone who spoke up during the MeToo movement.”
Priya Ramani to The Quint

Journalist Priya Ramani was delighted after a Delhi trial court, on Wednesday, 17 February, acquitted her in the criminal defamation case brought against her by former Union Minister MJ Akbar, over the #MeToo sexual harassment allegations levelled by her.

While the court held that the contents of an article by Ramani in Vogue in 2017 was ‘per se defamatory’, it held that the defences raised by her, of truth and public interest, were justified in light of systematic abuse of women at the workplace.

In an important judgment for sexual harassment cases going forward, Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey noted that “Women can’t be punished for raising instances of sexual abuse by complaints claiming defamation.”

Ramani was delighted after the verdict, telling The Quint:

“It feels amazing to have my truth validated in a court of law. I feel vindicated on behalf of all the women who spoke up, before and after me.”

Ramani is optimistic that this victory encourages more women to speak up and “discourages powerful men to take victims of sexual harassment to court with fake cases of defamation.”

Noting that she had a strong support system of friends in Delhi and an outstanding lawyer in senior advocate Rebecca John, Ramani also said she hoped the next wave of the MeToo movement is more inclusive so that those without the same support can also come forward.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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