Journalist Priya Ramani had accused former Union Minister M J Akbar of sexual harassment when she was working with him during his tenure as Journalist. M J Akbar was a veteran journalist who founded the Sunday magazine brought out by the Anand Bazar group. Besides Priya several others have accused him of sexual harassment at the work place when hew as a journalist.
The former External Affairs Minister in BJP government has filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani for her charges of sexual harrasment as part of the Mee Too Movement.
The Delhi HC on Wednesday acquitted her with the additional chief metropolitan magistrate ruling “Right of reputation can’t be protected at the cost of right of life and dignity of women as guaranteed in the constitution. She can put forward gravamens before any forum even after decades, ”
The most important aspect of the verdict is that there is no statue of limitation and charges of sexual harassment at the work place can be made even made 20 or 30 years after the incident. The incident took place before the Vishaka guidelines which led to the enactment of the ” the sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention prohibition at regressive) act 2013″. The court also expressed sympathy for victims of sexual harassment. Saying that society that understand that an abusive person is just like the rest, having family and friends and can also be a well respected person. The implication is that charges can be made against anyone however high an office he may hold. In fact charges of molestation were even made against the former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi,.