[Breaking]: MJ Akbar files defamation case for "frivolous" sexual harassment charges

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The complaint has been filed before a magisterial court at Patiala House through Karanjawala & Co. through its senior partner Sandeep Kapur along with Principal Associate Veer Sandhu, Senior Associates Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey, Mayank Datta and Associate Gudipati G Kashyap.

"Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections", said Mr Akbar, 67, in a statement.

"The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice", said Akbar in a statement issued in New Delhi, asserting that he was facing an "agenda" just months before India's general election.

M.J. Akbar, a former journalist and author, is the first politician to be named in the flood of accusations of inappropriate behavior by prominent men in India that began with Bollywood and moved into the media industry.

"His complaint accuses Ramani of "...willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming the complainant, on wholly and completely false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds... thereby harming the goodwill and reputation of the complainant, within the political fraternity, media, friends, family, colleagues and in society at large". "You be the judge", Akbar said, referring to the elections to be held in five states-Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana-starting 12 November. They said his response should have reflected the responsibility that his office bestowed on him.

Mr Akbar, who returned from an official trip overseas on Monday, has called the allegations "false" and "baseless".

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Menon, one of the journalists at the forefront of the movement, said that after the initial shock of Akbar's defamation complaint had passed, women activists and their supporters have gained new momentum - and new impetus to organize themselves.

She did not, however, name me as she knew it was an incorrect story.

"I am deeply disappointed that a union minister should dismiss allegations of several women as political conspiracy". Sandal, the Asian Age tarot card columnist, "came to my desk and told me that Akbar was truly in love with me", her account read. They have all denied the allegations. She said Akbar was seeking to "silence" the survivors through "intimidation and harassment", but she was "ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against her".

Akbar was one of the high-profile journalists exposed by dozens of women journalists who took to social media as part of the #MeToo movement.

India's main opposition party Congress has demanded Akbar's resignation, while Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, has called for an investigation into the allegations against Akbar.

The junior external affairs minister mentioned Firstpost, Livemint and Washington Post as publications that carried reports about the allegations against him.

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