A Delhi court on Saturday asked lawyers appearing for former Union Minister MJ Akbar and journalist Priya Ramani whether there was a possibility of a settlement between the two in the ongoing libel case.
Ravindra Kumar Pandey, Additional Chief Justice of Rouse Avenue Court, observed that Mr. J. Akbar’s criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani was complex in nature and asked: “Is there room for compromise? ? “
Lawyer Bhavook Chauhan, representing Priya Ramani, replied that he did not think the matter could be aggravated due to particular facts related to the case. However, the court suggested that the lead attorneys talk to each other and advise if there was a possibility of a settlement.
The final argument was heard before by ACMM Vishal Pahuja, who has now transferred. Subsequently, ACMM Ravindra Kumar Pandey began to hear the final argument and asked counsel for MJ Akbar and lead counsel Geeta Luthra to make a brief presentation today.
Attorney Geeta Luthra, appearing for Mr. J. Akbar, told the court that Ms. Ramani made derogatory allegations against him in an article, which tarnished and demeaned her client’s reputation.
After hearing the brief presentation, the court set the case for a new hearing on November 24. During today’s hearing, the court also suggested that the case could be taken on a day-to-day basis.
Mr. J. Akbar, the former Minister of State at the Ministry of External Affairs, had filed a libel complaint against journalist Priya Ramani for accusing her of sexual misconduct. On October 17, 2018, he resigned from his post as union minister after his name appeared on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged in India.