#MeToo: MJ Akbar resigns as junior foreign minister
New Delhi: Minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar resigned from his post, on Wednesday, after allegations of 16 sexual harassment.
In a statement, Akbar said: “Since I have decided to take a justice in my court of law with my personal capacity, I feel that by resigning from the office, my personal capacity should challenge the false allegations against me.”
He further said: “I have resigned from the office of the minister of state for external affairs. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj as she gave me the opportunity to serve my country.”
Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment by many women. Priya Ramani, a journalist who worked with Akbar, was the first woman to name him in the #MeToo campaign. Akbar filed a criminal defamation case against her, on Monday.
After Akbar's resignation, Ramani tweeted: “As women, we feel right with MJ Akbar’s resignation. I look forward to the day when I get justice in court #MeToo.”
On Monday, Akbar filed a complaint of criminal defamation against Ramani, alleging that Ramani has been blaming him “deliberately” and her allegations were “malicious”, which was intended to defame his reputation and political status.
Meanwhile, Akbar’s defence lawyer Sandeep Kapur from Karanjwala & Company said that the case of criminal defamation against Ramani will be heard before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Samar Vishal, on October 18 (Thursday). He further said, “Since we have already filed a defamation case, we will take it forward only in the court.”
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