Samar Halarnkar, journalist and husband of Priya Ramani, who was acquitted Wednesday in the #MeToo defamation case filed against her by former minister MJ Akbar, took to social media to cheer her win.
Ramani’s colleagues from the journalism fraternity as well as women across India are hailing the judgment as a “historic” one in favour of women empowerment and sexual harassment survivors.
Halarnkar, who stood in Ramani’s support beside her through her court hearings, wrote on Twitter, “Finally. Vindication.” He shared a picture of Ramani and her lawyer Rebecca John smiling for the press. Alongside, he retweeted a number of supportive messages coming his wife’s way.
See his post below:
Finally. Vindication. pic.twitter.com/Fk7Co0urIN
— Samar Halarnkar (@samar11) February 17, 2021
Ramani, between 2017 and 2018 had made allegations of sexual harassment against Akbar, prompting several other women to level similar charges against him. Akbar, denying all #MeToo allegations, on October 15, 2018, filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ramani, claiming his name and reputation were tarnished.
A Delhi court pronounced its judgment in the two-year-old legal battle saying, “Even a man of social status can be a sexual harasser.” More on the judgment here.
Who Is Samar Halarnkar?
Samar Halarnkar, formerly editor of digital platform Indiaspend, is a notable name within the industry, having previously worked with leading publications like The Times of India, Indian Express and Hindustan Times. He is currently a columnist for Article 14 and contributing writer for Mint.
In October 2018, when Akbar filed a criminal case against Ramani for defamation, Halarnkar wrote an article outlining the fight that lay ahead of her. “My wife faces a union minister, his 97 lawyers. It takes special courage to do that... The consequences of sexual harassment have fallen entirely on India’s women. The men must step up or step aside.”
Last year, Priya Ramani, Samar Halarnkar and journalist Niloufer Venkatraman, created a platform called India Love Project in response to the rising communal dialogue of ‘love jihad’. With this social media portal, the three journalists encourage a telling of successful interfaith love stories.
Image Credit: Financial Times