On Tuesday, a group of 19 women journalists wrote a petition urging the court to hear their testimonies against Akbar as part of the case against Ramani. Abkar issued a statement over his resignation that he is seeking justice in the court for which he is stepping down as the Union Minister.
"I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity".
Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst at Jain University in the city of Bengaluru, said Akbar's defamation lawsuit and then his subsequent resignation could indicate damage limitation by the government.
More than a dozen women have accused MJ Akbar, a junior foreign minister, of a range of inappropriate behaviour during his career as a journalist before entering politics.
"I think the Modi government was compelled to ask MJ Akbar to resign from the Union ministry as the #MeToo movement gained momentum in the country", Communist Party of India General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy told PTI.
Akbar countered many of these specific allegations in his statement Sunday. "I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour overseas", he said in a statement issued shortly after arriving in New Delhi. It was followed by the accounts of travails undergone by other women journalists, including Ghazala Wahab who accused him of molestation.
"Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections. These allegations are false, motivated and baseless", he said in his statement. Is there an agenda? You be the judge.
The incident took place when Priya was 23 years old and Akbar 43.
Kaniza Gazari (Asian Age 1995-1997), Malavika Banerjee (1995-1998), A T Jayanthi (1995-1996), Hamida Parkar (1996-1999), Jonali Buragohain, Meenakshi Kumar (1996-2000), Sujata Dutta Sachdeva (1999-2000), Reshmi Chakraborty (1996-98), Kiran Manral (1993-96) and Sanjari Chatterjee are the other journalists to sign the statement.
"Defamation suits are not always taken in a negative manner, because [they give] people opportunities to prove that what was said was true", said Indira Jaising, a lawyer who has argued many women's rights cases. There's no story. But a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened. He added that others confirm "on the record" that he "didn't do anything".
On Oct. 8, Ramani named Akbar as the man she had described, but not identified, in a 2017 Vogue article titled, "To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world, an open letter", referring to the high-powered Hollywood film produced facing charges of rape and assault from multiple women in the United States.
"Ms Ramani is not alone in her fight".
The minister has been accused by several women of sexually harassing them..
In his court filing, Akbar, 67, a former newspaper editor, said Ramani had "wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously" defamed him.