New Delhi: Former Union minister MJ Akbar, accused of sexual harassment by journalist Priya Ramani, said in court on Saturday that he had filed a defamation case against Ramani because the charges against him are baseless and false.

Akbar said he was on a tour to South Africa when the allegations were made. Therefore, he resigned from his post of a Union minister and then filed the case. Akbar said he was hurt by Ramani's words on Twitter.   

Akbar said the allegations not only affected him, but also tarnished the image of his family. Akbar lamented that he had to face "baseless allegations" despite trying to give journalism a new dimension and providing employment to many.   

Ramani's lawyer has accused Akbar of sullying journalism. According to Ramani, Akbar had first joined the Congress and then quit the party to join the BJP. So it is clear that Akbar had changed his ideology, Ramani had said, and on the basis of that, claimed that in the days to come, Akbar will also deny charges against himself.

Significantly, during the hearing it was pointed out that Akbar, who had become an MP in 1989, had to fight a case of fake reporting in the Delhi high court in 2003.     This case was dismissed after Akbar apologised. However, when this fact was produced in court, Akbar said that he does not remember the proceedings of that case.