The Delhi High Court issued a notice to journalist Priya Ramani on Wednesday while hearing an appeal by former union minister MJ Akbar challenging her acquittal in the criminal defamation case filed by him, .
Akbar's counsel told the court that while acquitting Ramani in the defamation case, the trial court in February had accepted the "contention of accused and possibility of defence of accused that she disclosed the truth regarding sexual harassment against her". "You can't rely on 'possibility of defence'," senior advocate Geeta Luthra said.
The court accordingly issued a notice to Ramani.
Ramani had made allegations of sexual misconduct against Akbar in 2018, in the wake of the #MeToo movement in India. In response, Akbar filed a defamation suit against Ramani on October 15 that year, to which Ramani pleaded not guilty. Akbar also stepped down as union minister.
On February 17, a trial court acquitted Ramani, saying, "The case of the complainant is not proved." The court also said that a woman has the right to "put her grievance even after decades".
On March 25, Akbar moved the Delhi High Court against Ramani's acquittal.