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

Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra appears for MJ Akbar.

Hearing begins.

Geeta Ji is on her legs. If you the court could accommodate us for 25 mins: Adv Sandeep Kapur for @mjakbar

We'll start at 11.45 am : Judge

#MJAkbar #PriyaRamani
Hearing resumes.

#PriyaRamani #MJAkbar

Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra begins for @mjakbar.

Every word of this lady has to be looked at very carefully because it will give us the element of her research, investigation and what "her truth" is based on : Luthra

Luthra reads Ramani's testimony.
It is not about anyone else. So clearly her statement even though her article is generic, her statement is specific: Luthra
Luthra reads portion on Ramani's statement on removal of anonymity given to Akbar in Vogue article.
She says in 2017 it was one anonymous article. I say a fictitious article: Luthra
Had it been a truth, it would have been done in 2017 itself. It now smells of malice. Malice is not necessary to be proved in fact. It has to be seen in effect : Luthra
She takes away all the trappings given to the article..of a predator and calls him media's biggest sexual predator: Luthra
Incident she doesn't prove, date she doens't prove.. nothing she proves and burden is on her. Question is can such an imputation bring about an evidence of media's biggest predator..there is no basis of calling @mjakbar what she did: Luthra.
She reiterates that he didn't do anything.. it is a piece of fiction: Luthra
Luthra continues to read Ramani's statement.
It was for the first in her examination in chief that she says .. artificially she decides which para is to be attributed to the complainant.. it's not material how the world rear it: Luthra
Nobody said I only read the first four para of the Vogue article: Luthra
Nothing happened between 2017 to 2018 that made you make this allegation except motivation ...it is an act to intentionally malign. There is not a whisper of good faith and public interest: Luthra
For the first time in defense you are creating artificial lines.. : Luthra
In Rupan Deol's case.. incident pertained to 1988. Finally came in Supreme Court and decided in 2005. The person was believed by the court that at that very moment she had complained to her Chief Secretary. I'm using this to case..people could complain in 1988: Luthra
There has to be a principle of due process and then you don't go to court. You put in in a domain where I can't be answering 1000s of people. What is be more henious and more harmful: Luthra
She said there was no overt physical attack. Here also she is self contradictory. She said it was sarcasm then takes alternate defense : Luthra
Sarcasm is also defamation: Luthra
Did he do anything or not do anything.. same can't have a non sarcastic meaning and still be sarcastic: Luthra
First she says first four para Are about her. But then talks about "shared experience". Whom did she interview? This has to be before the cause of action. She says it's my story.. what is she trying. Every sentence when examined is contradictory to the next : Luthra
Defense is not legally consistent: Luthra
I like every part of her story.. this also has an alternate argument.. she says it shows age, influence and power. It has nothing to with predator. I have shown the definition: Luthra
Luthra asks the court to see the WhatsApp conversation between Ramani and Nilofer.
You can see that it is cropped..they don't give anything original..neither above nor below to show the genuineness ..they don't give the phone number or who is Nilu or any CD..what was the continuous original screen : Luthra
She says he is a famous editor. Somewhere when we asked if he was well known.. she even tries to prevaricate from this: Luthra
Luthra reiterates that defense documents can't be looked at by the court.
She has to do her own research and verification. Even if we take her defense, it is not defensible and lacks good faith: Luthra
All this shows the credibility of the accused who has not shown herself as credit worthy: Luthra
She creates alternate stories: Luthra
What do I do if I want ti examine her on her Twitter account? : Luthra

How can a person even have the ability to say all this when they have deleted their Twitter account: Luthra
She is a person who says I put X on my Twitter account.. but she has now deleted the account. How am I expected to ask questions: Luthra
This strange argument that this Twitter account, the court didn't tell me to save so I didn't. How can one take a defense like this : Luthra
She knows a criminal complaint is pending against her..: Luthra
These are all tweets. They were all primary evidence. Can she destroy evidence.. another criminal case can be made out : Luthra
I would have wanted to cross examine her. This whole thing is destruction of evidence is not something which is not viewed very seriously.. suppose the court wanted to see it. Fact is that everything has been deliberately destroyed to subserve the cause of justice: Luthra
Was it deleted before the cross examination?: Judge

Yes sir. We don't know the exact date. I asked her and she said she has deleted the account: Luthra
Luthra reads IPC provision on destruction of evidence.
All evidence which was part of the trial.. deliberately, intentionally, maliciously has been destroyed by deleting the Twitter account: Luthra
I may have used it to show that people didn't read the article as being split: Luthra

Please tell the date when it came on record that she deleted her account: Judge
Luthra reads the cross examination during which it came to be known that Ramani had deleted her Twitter account.

I could put (certain questions) to her because she had deleted her account : Luthra

Luthra reads these questions.
They showed that @mjakbar 's reputation was impeccable and took a beating after Ramani's tweet : Luthra
Luthra explains how Twitter works.
There will be a comment. She didn't want to show that she had read these comments.. it had lowered my reputation in the eyes of the public. I asked if she had read these comments. She said I deleted my account a month ago.. while her examination is in progress: Luthra
Have you filed any complaint for destruction of evidence? : Judge

We haven't but we want to court to take cognizance.. I've brought it to the notice of the court : Luthra
It speaks volume on her conduct: Luthra
I would have put many twitter comments to her but couldn't: Luthra
It is incorrect to say that Twitter account is not evidence. It is relevant..it is the account from which allegations were made against me : Luthra
This defense is fallacious and incorrect. It is trying it pretend and avoid an issue which is germane to the whole case : Luthra
My whole argument that @mjakbar reputation was lowered.. this person (on comments) says perspective was changed : Luthra
This shows ipso facto that what she says is per se defamatory: Luthra
Luthra reads Ramani's cross examination on this aspect.
It cannot be more absurd. It would confront her. Do I not have the right of cross? Just because I've done my chief is it enough? To say that it is not denial and miscarriage of justice is completely against the record : Luthra
I want to emphasize this. They have made two defense for "didn't do anything" also: Luthra
Their defense is self contradictory. It is not a legal argument where you can make alternate argument. What is your truth? Sarcastic or not sarcastic? : Luthra
You said be didn't do anything and thus that article was a work of fiction: Luthra
Luthra continues to read the cross.
Did you even think or even realise what predator is? You said all this because you were writing a work of fiction..for your own reasons which can only be motivated, you pasted @mjakbar there : Luthra
You can't say what you mean by predator. The dictionary will say : Luthra
Luthra reads Ramani's cross examination.
Till 2010, she is retweeting @mjakbar , the well known, respected Editor's tweets. She appreciates Mr Akbar .. but you removed you handle : Luthra
Luthra reads Ramani's cross examination on admiring MJ Akbar's work.

She's trying to trivialise the fact that she know that @mjakbar was a famous editor: Luthra
Court breaks for five minutes.
Hearing resumes.

Luthra reads Ramani's cross examination.
There is no denial that there were other publication houses. There was no compulsion on her to join Asain Age but she did: Luthra
She found Asian Age a good opportunity: Luthra
I bring all this which shows that the incident is something that she made up. It something which is not in the natural sequence of things : Luthra
Luthra continues to read.
A journalist who does reporting has to know the law. Ignorance of law is not an excuse: Luthra
I am not aware is an admission in law: Luthra
Luthra reads cross examination on Ramani knowing Vishakha guidelines.
She was aware of it. She does nothing because there isn't anything. It is a work of fiction: Luthra
She was aware of Vishakha guidelines in 1996, 1997. These questions are being put to her because she alleged that there was no redressal mechanism: Luthra
If you had a grievance, there was a mechanism since 1860 : Luthra
Luthra continues to read.
She knew Vishakha, she would have known Rupan Deol because she's ba journalist. She knew IPC : Luthra
Had there been an iota of truth, you would have spoken up at the first available opportunity.. which was in 1860.. :Luthra
There is lack of regard for sanctity of truth: Luthra
She could have spoken in 2013 after Nirbhaya in a movement called Found their Voice: Luthra
I asked specifically if she wrote the article called Sorry boss, we found our voice? .. she says I do not recall.. again the lack of sanctity for truth: Luthra
Till then there was no grievance because there was no truth? What changed then? : Luthra
I asked questions with regard to Vishakha, 2012 Bill, 2013 Act, Tejpal'case, Found Our Voice, her own writing.. till then she said nothing: Luthra
He became a BJP member in 2014.. then became an MP.. then for the first time she made the allegations: Luthra
Luthra reiterates that the defense was not put to any witnesses in the case.
It is an absurd statement by her. She knows she can't bring out the truth.. hence she makes the artificial distinction. "You" in para 5 suddenly becomes somone else : Luthra
Luthra reads Ramani's cross examination in this context.
These lies have left me defending my reputation in the last few years. It is unpardonable.. I wonder at what kind of cost has it come to you. You have damaged a person's 50 years of reputation: Luthra
The harm that you have caused by you statement which is indefensible.. : Luthra
Tampering of evidence is serious: Luthra
Luthra reads TG Goswami judgement.
We will continue of next date of hearing: Judge
I will finish on January 23 : Luthra
Hearing adjourned.

Matter to be heard next on January 23.

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