In a quick turn of events, former journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar today resigned from his post as the Minister of State of External Affairs. Akbar resigned after journalist Priya Ramani and over 10 other female journalists accused him of sexual harassment. His resignation has come two days after he filed a defamation suit against Ramani.

“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have therefore tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State of External Affairs,” said Akbar in his resignation letter.

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Advocate Sandeep Kapur filed the complaint for Akbar, which seeks issuance of notice to Ramani under Section 499 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Rumours of Akbar’s resignation had surfaced right after Ramani accused him of sexual harassment during her tenure in The Asian Age where he was the editor and proprietor. However, Akbar dismissed all of them and went on to file the defamation case.

“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have therefore tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State of External Affairs”

His suit said, “Whilst it is apparent that the accused has resorted to a series of maliciously serious allegations which she is diabolically and viciously spreading in media, it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (Akbar) is being circulated in a motivated manner for the fulfilment of an agenda.”

Right before the development of Akbar’s resignation came out in the media, a group of 20 journalists, including one from Deccan Herald have requested Delhi’s Patiala House Court, where Akbar has filed the defamation suit, to consider their testimonies.

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