Union Minister MJ Akbar on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against the journalist who levelled sexual harassment allegations on him. He filed the case on Monday in Delhi's Patiala House Court against Priya Ramani, through his advocates Karanjawala and Company.
Claiming that he was being framed, Akbar had on Sunday threatened to take legal action against those who have levelled allegations against him. In a detailed statement, Akbar had on Sunday said that the accusations against him are spiced up by innuendo and malice.
"The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice. I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour abroad. Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections. Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action," he had said.
He also questioned the credibility of the accusations asking how there was a sudden uproar against him ahead of the Lok Sabha elections that are due in 2019. "Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill," he said.
Hitting out at Priya, he had on Sunday said: "Priya Ramani began this campaign a year ago with a magazine article. She did not however name me as she knew it was an incorrect story. When asked recently why she had not named me, she replied, in a Tweet: "Never named him because he didn't 'do' anything". If I didn't do anything, where and what is the story? There's no story. But a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened. Some are total, unsubstantiated hearsay; others confirm, on the record, that I didn’t do anything."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and spokespersons who had so far maintained a stoic silence on the issue, said on Monday that the Minister of State of External Affairs has given his version on the matter. "It is not about agreeing or disagreeing. He has presented his version," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.