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MJ Akbar testimony in court in MeToo case: Ramani called me talented predator, defamed me

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MJ Akbar testimony in court in MeToo case: Ramani called me talented predator, defamed me

The first union minister to go over charges of sexual harassment, editor-turned- politician MJ Akbar today (Wednesday, October 31) recorded his testimony before the Patiala House Court in the criminal defamation case he has filed against journalist Priya Ramani who has accused him of being a sexual predator.

Beginning his testimony by telling the court about his journalistic credentials, before venturing on to his political career, Akbar denied all charges, saying the allegations levelled by Ramani are “concocted and false” and have caused “immediate damage” to his reputation.

The BJP MP told the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that Ramani’s tweets and article that carried the allegations against him have “lowered my reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking members of the public, my friends, colleagues, peers and professional and political fraternity, thereby causing irreparable loss to my reputation and goodwill.”

Asserting that he had, over the past three decades, “acquired a good reputation both as a writer and an editor”, the former journalist told the court that Ramani herself had admitted that he “didn’t do anything (implying that he was not involved in any incident of sexual harassment against the respondent)” but called him a “talented sexual predator” nevertheless.

Stating that the publication and wide circulation of Ramani’s allegations had affected his colleagues and upset his friends, Akbar told the court that there “was immediate damage (to his reputation) because of the scurrilous nature of these concocted and false allegations. I was attacked in a personal capacity about fabricated non-events allegedly done two decades ago.”

“I’ve filed a criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani for a series of tweets that she published. First one came to my notice on my return from my official tour. The tweet had a link to an article in a magazine called vogue,” he said, adding that her tweets dated October 10 and October 13 were picked by various media organisations and did rounds on social media, causing defamation.

“The defamatory/offending portion in particular apart from the rest of the article (in Vogue) is when she (journalist Priya Ramani) referred to me a ‘talented predator’ and an expert on ‘so-and-so’,” Akbar told the court, according to news agency ANI.

Akbar said Ramani had not mentioned his name in an article published in Vogue in 2017. “Clearly she was advised by Vogue that including my name would invite liability,” he said.

“The opening sentence of her tweet explained one anomaly. When the article was first published in Vogue, it didn’t include my name. When asked about it, she said it was because ‘I had done nothing’. Clearly, she was advised by Vogue that including my name would invite liability….There was an immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of the concocted and false allegations. I was attacked about the alleged and fabricated non-events. I chose to seek justice in my personal capacity without the appurtenance of the office and that’s why I resigned,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Ramani’s allegations which triggered a slew of similar charges being leveled against Akbar by at least 30 other women journalists who had worked with him in various publications over the past three decades had led to his resignation from the Union council of ministers earlier this month. Akbar had slapped the defamation case against Ramani while rejecting all allegations leveled by her as baseless and driven by a political agenda.

During the last date of hearing in the case, the court had directed Akbar to record his testimony on October 31.

Following recording of Akbar’s statement, the court fixed November 12 as the next date of hearing when witnesses listed by him will record their testimonies.

India News

DGCA fines Go First Rs 10 lakh for leaving behind 55 passengers at Bengaluru airport

The incident took place on January 9 at 5:45 am when the passengers were about to board Go First flight G8-116 from Bengaluru to New Delhi.

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GoFirst flight

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday fined Go First Rs 10 lakh for leaving behind 55 passengers at the Bengaluru airport earlier this month and violating the rules.

The incident took place on January 9 at 5:45 am when the passengers were about to board Go First flight G8-116 from Bengaluru to New Delhi. Reports said a total of airbuses were sent to pick up the passengers for the aircraft. While the first two buses went ahead, the other two were left behind.

Following the incident, the DGCA issued a show cause notice to the responsible manager of the airlines and directed them to take enforcement actions against Go First for the dereliction of their regulatory obligations.

Replying to the DGCA, the airline released a statement saying the airline had launched an inquiry into the matter assuring it is being investigated. The airlines also offered a free ticket for travel on any domestic route to all the affected passengers.

A senior DCGA official reacted to the reply and said the airline failed to provide adequate ground arrangement handling, flight dispatch and passenger and cargo handling, and preparation of load and trim sheet.

DGCA further enforced action and penalised Rs 10 lakh for violation of CAR Sections 3, Series C, Part II of the Air Transport Circular 02 of 2019, reports said.

Sharing her inconvenience through a tweet, an affected passenger called it her most horrifying experience with Go First airlines. She shared her ordeals on Twitter and called the incident the heights of negligence.

Watch the video of the incident here:

Earlier a similar incident took place wherein Singapore-bound Scoot Airlines left behind more than 30 passengers at the Amritsar Airport. The DGCA sought a report of the incident and also slammed the airlines.

In a reply to DGCA, the airlines informed that the passengers were updated about the rescheduling of the flight, however, their travel agents failed to convey them. The airlines also offered free tickets to all the affected passengers.

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Who is Suhani Shah? Everything you need to know about the internet sensation

Shah entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s youngest magician at the age of seven.

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Suhani Shah

If you are an avid social media user, you might have come across the name, Suhani Shah. The 32-year-old is hogging headlines for her ability to read people’s minds. Prime Time news channels couldn’t stop covering her and tagging her as a Jadu Pari or a magician.

Shah came into the limelight amid the Bageshwar Dham row. The mentalist ripped off the 26-year-old Dham Trust chief Dhirendra Shastri’s false claims about magic and divine power.

Who is Suhani Shah?

Shah is not just a mentalist but also a social media sensation. She has a verified Instagram account with 1.2 million followers and her bio reads ‘Mentalist.’

Apart from being the cover story of magazines like Be Attractive, L’utopia, Fashion Herald, and others, she has collaborated with several Bollywood stars like Kareen Kapoor Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Boman Irani, and others.

Shah entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s youngest magician at the age of seven. An illusionist, a clinical hypnotherapist, an author, a corporate trainer, and a mentalist, she has been honoured with several awards and the title Jadoo Pari by the All India Magic Association.

Shah also owns a YouTube channel where she keeps uploading videos on mentalism, magic, vlogs, and others. Other than her social media appearance, she also runs a web shoe That’s My Job wherein she invites guests. Public figures like Zakir Khan, Triggered Insaan, Munawar Faruqui, Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina, Nischay Malhan, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and several others have been a part of her web show.

Born in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, Shah discontinued school in Class 2 to pursue her passion for magic. As she started her career at the age of seven and toured across the world, she was home-schooled.

In 1997, she performed on the stage for the first time at Thakorbhai Desai Hall in Ahmedabad and up until now has done over 5,000 shows in and across India.

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Madhya Pradesh: Four men creep into coal mine to rob scrap iron, die of asphyxiation

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Four men, who crept into a coal mine to allegedly steal scrap iron from the place, died of asphyxiation inside in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh, reports said.

According to reports, the now-deceased men broke into a closed coal mine in Kalri under Dhanpuri police station to rob scrap iron by stripping junked machines, while one of their partners stood outside to stand guard.

However, the man standing guard became anxious when his gang members didn’t return for a long time and there was silence from inside. The man fled the spot and fearing the worst, returned back and informed his friends and family of the incident.

Reports said police got wind of the incident, and sent a rescue team inside the mine who managed to pull out the bodies of the four thieves.

Police said that four men were already when the rescue team found them inside the mine.

The deceased have been identified as Raj Mahto, Hazari Koul, Rahul Koul and Kapil Vishwakarma, police said, adding that they suspect the men died due leakage of methane gas inside the coal mine.

The mine had been shut since 2018 and the four men had reportedly dug a tunnel to get inside the coal mine.

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