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14 Jan, 100 tweets, 13 min read
Hearing in MJ Akbar's criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani to begin before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra K Pandey.

Case is at the stage of rebuttal by Akbar. Ramani has concluded her defense.

#MeToo #PriyaRamani #MJAkbar #Metooindia

@mjakbar Image
Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra appears for MJ Akbar.


#PriyaRamani #MeToo
I read Akbar, Joyeeta Basu and Sunil Gujral's evidence: Senior Adv Luthra begins
They have built an imaginary story in their defense. They say Vogue article has two parts and only the first part pertains to @mjakbar. There is no credit, attribution in the second part : Luthra
This was a strange argument: Luthra
Ramani called Akbar media's biggest predator. When you cast an aspersion on someone, you have to show evidence and what investigation you have done: Luthra
After 25-30 years, you don't go to court .. you say there was no law. What is this law which was not present since 1860? Or when case was filed against Tarun Tejpal: Luthra
Remedy against misconduct at workplace was always available : Luthra
Luthra urges court to ask counsel for Priya Ramani to make submissions on 18th itself.

I'm opposing their right to rebut a rebuttal: Luthra

We'll consider after you conclude your arguments: Court
Luthra continues her submissions.

I've shown her contradictions. In notice, cross examination of Mr Akbar, she says it's the truth. Then she says there is no enquiry (with respect to premature tweet on Akbar's resignation). What is the sense of responsibility? : Luthra
She's saying as if it was a victory. But it's not victory, it's vindictiveness: Luthra
Shouldn't you have issued a corrigendum?
So what if he resigned later? You called it truth at the time of notice: Luthra
This witness (Ramani) has no truth: Luthra

Luthra reads testimony of Veenu Sandal.
Sandal was working from 1994 onwards and a lot of people are talking to her because of the kind of work she's doing.. she says not a "whisper all these years" against Mr Akbar: Luthra
Luthra continues to read.
During all these years, some whisper would have come. Not an iota of doubt. She was doing astrology and tarot card reading. Some period seems to ve overlapping: Luthra
We say in Hindi tukde tukde ho gaya.. it was in tatters : Luthra
Luthra says that it is proved that @mjakbar had incredible reputation.
Was there dissemination? Yes. Sandal first read it in newspapers and then read the tweets: Luthra
Issue of publication, dissemination is clear. Lowering of reputation is also clear: Luthra
There is no doubt created in her cross examination. There are a few suggestions which make out no case : Luthra
Suggestions do not prove your case : Luthra
Luthra continues to read.
How can you call any of my witness a tutored witness. They are all natural witnesses: Luthra
I don't know the purpose of the question about Prerna Singh Bhindra, Shuma Raha etc. The case is not about them: Luthra
Except Ghazala Wahab, no-one has come to the witness box. Her allegations are wild and baseless: Luthra
It's a case of res ipsa loquitur. It is per se defamatory. There is no evidence, proof or verification. Irresponsible statements like calling someone a predator: Luthra.
All about Ghazala is irrelevant to this lis. This is about Priya Ramani's allegations qua Mr @mjakbar and her lack of proof : Luthra
Luthra reads Sandal's cross examination.
Luthra argues against the questions put to Sandal during her cross examination.

This is not understandable : Luthra
These suggestions are not leading to anything: Luthra
In the course of duty, no witness deposes with regard to an ex employer or colleague.. What benefit will she get? : Luthra
Because she benefitted can't be an argument to call her a tutored witness: Luthra
Documents that are marked can't be read into evidence. Documents have to be proved : Luthra
I don't understand what is the line of cross examination and the questions that are put. I wrote an article (on paranormal and supernatural). I'm not denying it. What does it have to do with @mjakbar reputation: Luthra
Except suggestions there are no questions.. this thing about writing on ghosts. So what? You can't impeach someone's credibility on this ground: Luthra
She never heard of any blemish on Akbar's career and no questions were put to her on this aspect: Luthra
Not one part of the defense is put to the witness. No part about reputation or dissemination is put : Luthra
Just because you know the person professionally, doens't make you an interested witness : Luthra
Luthra reads testimony of witness Tapan Chaki.
his cross examination, you say all editors are exacting and not just MJ Akbar. So? We're talking about @mjakbar . He stood out . He was exceptionally good. What's the cross examination to say others are also good. You are just being malicious and mean : Luthra
You yourself said he was the most exceptional : Luthra
Thousands of tweets, reporting in newspapers, magazines.. what could she have done more to damage my reputation? It came at no cost to her. The cost is to Mr @mjakbar . For her, it was something said irresponsibly without food faith, due process: Luthra
This is not in good faith. I can say it is not in public interest: Luthra
Luthra reads Chaki's cross examination.
Ask questions about what he has said. That Akbar has an impeccable reputation, that tweets harmed his reputation. Ask him about your defense..: Luthra
Can I take a five min break: Luthra

Sure. We will meet after five mins: Judge
Hearing resumes.

#PriyaRamani #Metoo #MJAkbar
I was reading the last portion of Chaki's cross examination: Luthra
Their defense was not put to even this witness : Luthra
There's no authenticity or proof.. : Luthra
Nobody can say that a professional colleague is a tutored witness. I haven't seen such a judgement. All these are bald,vague pleas: Luthra
Luthra reads Ramani's statement under section 313 CrPC.
To any of the complainant's witness, the defense is not put: Luthra
After this I will come to Ramani's statement as her witness : Luthra
Luthra reads the testimony.
This whole trivialising about Mr Akbar .. this is misplaced. She calls him a professional hero and famous: Luthra
There are some contradictions that come with regard to November, December.. I'm more concerned about which year: Luthra
The allegations purport to be from what I can make out.. she doesn't give the year.. I assume of 1993-94 or 95. What she says is in 2018. It is some 20-30 years and no contemporaneous proof comes before court : Luthra
Luthra continues to read.
There is no evidence. Just vague averments: Luthra as she continues to read.
All this has to be looked at from the viewpoint of authenticity.. no doubt has been cast that there was no such meeting: Luthra continues to read.
Since this version has no authenticity and no material to support which is the onus cast upon her.. I'll show the judgements : Luthra
Nothing turns on it. They contradicted themselves. I've been showing contradictions of far greater nature: Luthra
They have a very onerous burden. The exercise has been not even establish even a whisper of proof. There is not one phone bill or CCTV: Luthra
Just completely false, bald, vague, unsubstantiated .. : Luthra
They've taken the defense of Res Gestae.. J said Nilofer line of argument was inadmissible. Their defense is unimaginary. Res Gestae has to be simultaneous: Luthra
Here what is being said is later at night I called Nilofer. What you say to fabricate without producing landline.. neither a person in defense or complaint can show evidence after 30 years. But onus is on you : Luthra
Luthra refers to Kerala HC judgement.
Luthra reads another judgement.
I want to emphasize that onus is on her. She had not even started going there. She not established anything: Luthra
She has no basis to call him a predator: Luthra
When she says Dear male boss, the "you" is @mjakbar : Luthra
Each and every aspect had to be proved : Luthra
Luthra reads the meaning of predator.

One who has committed many violent sexual acts : Luthra
I am shocked and scandalised. I'm completely devastated by this..that someone can call someone a predator with so much ease. Power of pen cannot be misused: Luthra
She justifies even now. She's a journalist. She should know the meaning of the word: Luthra
You cannot make an allegation without due process after 2-3 decades. Because you cannot prove it and it's false, you don't have the right to do it : Luthra
She got a job, she joined Delhi and then she wanted to join Mumbai office. Mr Akbar has no knowledge. He's a busy man : Luthra
I'm very amazed at the kind of research that goes into maligning someone.. you purport to pick something from some magazine..: Luthra
She doesn't examine any of the authors that she claims to have quoted : Luthra
Evidence act says that if something is written by someone and it is exhibited, the author can prove it after examination : Luthra

Luthra reads a judgement on this aspect.
I objection to their documents is not misplaced as the authors of the documents were not examined : Luthra
All their documents are marked. They didn't produce any author. They are relying on my document to say that the content becomes true : Luthra
What I want to show was Ms Ramani maligned Mr Akbar and her tweets and allegations spread like wild fire: Luthra
Luthra reads a judgement.
Luthra makes submissions in respect of Sec 65B certificates.
You haven't produced the author. What will you do with 65B: Luthra
These aspects (second half of Vogue article) are based on inadmissible documents. No such questions were put to my witness. This is artificial splitting: Luthra
You can't say these things for the first time in defense before court. Did anyone understand the article in this manner : Luthra
The discerning reader will not understand .. neither did Mr Akbar nor anyone of my witness realise it. Your witness didn't realise it. You didn't put it to my witness: Luthra
Anyone may say anything but the person who maligned Akbar and accused him of violent sexual act was Ms Priya Ramani: Luthra
Court proceeds to adjourn hearing for the day.
I had the occasion to speak to Ms John. She's nto available on 18th. I will make a request on 18th : Adv Bhavook Chauhan
Chauhan appears for Ramani.
We can give written submissions. There's no rebuttal to rebuttal: Luthra

Rebuttal has taken six dates : Chauhan
We'll decide a date once rebuttal arguments are complete : Judge
Hearing adjourned.

Matter to be heard next on January 18.
Priya Ramani has built an imaginary story, made bald, vague pleas in defence: Geeta Luthra argues for MJ Akbar in Delhi Court [LIVE UPDATES]

#PriyaRamani @mjakbar @IndiaMeToo #MeToo…

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