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#MeToo: Government’s silence on MJ Akbar has been very disappointing, says journalist Neerja Chowdhury

Updated : October 17, 2018 05:07 PM IST

Union minister MJ Akbar's defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, who had accused him of sexual harassment, will be heard on Thursday, October 18.

"The defamation case will be heard by a magisterial court in the Patiala House court complex on October 18," Akbar's Counsel Sandeep Kapur said on Tuesday.

Also Read: #MeToo: New allegations emerge against MJ Akbar as 17 women from The Asian Age speak out, ask court to hear their stories

There have also been more than 580 cases of sexual harassment reported in India’s top companies including 244 IT companies. Findings from the Yougov-Firstpost-survey shows high rates of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Speaking about the allegations on MJ Akbar, Raju Narisetti, professor, Columbia University,  said, “It is troubling that there has not been a response and it sends a pretty chilling signal that the government really does not care or has other reasons to stay silent and that is really unfortunate.”

Neerja Chowdhury, senior journalist said, “I do not expect it die down very easily. I think it is going to escalate. It is like the eruption of a volcano which was waiting to burst.”

Politically, the response has been very disappointing from the government, she said.

"Allowing him to continue as a minister which gives him an advantage when he fights a case or slaps on a case against one of the complainants of defamation. So it becomes a very uneven playing field,” she added

Disclosure: All matters brought to Network18’s attention which are within the purview of the workplace have been forwarded to our Internal Committee for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the workplace for appropriate action. The Internal Committee is independent and all recommendations made by it are followed through by Management action. 

Network18 Group has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment. The company complies fully with all legal provisions and seeks to ensure a speedy and effective Redressal on complaints.
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