Application was written to the President Ram Nath Kovind by the panel of female journalists and demanded the dismissal of Union Minister M.J. Akbar who has been accused of sexual harassment by a dozen women in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
“We are extremely concerned that he continues to be a minister in the Union council of ministers even as he pursues whatever legal course of action he plans.
“You will agree this is highly unethical and improper and would cast a cloud over any investigation of his alleged misdeeds, besides undermining the independence, justice and fair play that any citizen can expect from such proceedings,” the Network of Women in Media in India (NWMI) said in the letter to the President on Monday.
Akbar, the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, has sued the woman who had first named him in the #MeToo campaign — journalist Priya Ramani, for defamation.
NWMI said that a criminal defamation charge is “a clear attempt to bully, intimidate and silence those who are bringing to light systemic abuse of women by men in powerful positions”.