Scribes, lawyers, onlookers throng court room to witness hearing in Akbar’s case

National

New Delhi, Oct 18: Scores of scribes, lawyers and onlookers thronged the small court room at Patiala House district courts complex Thursday to witness the first hearing of the high-profile defamation case filed by former Union minister M J Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani for levelling sexual harassment allegations against him.

The curiosity, however, subsided drastically the moment they came to know that neither Akbar nor Ramani would visit the court for their first judicial face-off.

A few lawyers started moving out of the packed court room of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, who was to commence the hearing at 2 PM.

A similar media frenzy was witnessed at the complex when the 2G-scam verdict was to be delivered in December last year.

On Thursday, scribes jostled to enter the court room before the proceedings were to start as advocates unconnected to the case had crowded the court room, making it difficult for journalists to negotiate space inside and through the way.

While some scribes managed to enter the court room, photo and video journalists waited outside to capture the celebrity litigants who did not turn up.

The judge entered the court room at 2.10 PM and the case was called for a hearing.

Senior lawyer Geeta Luthra, appearing for Akbar, started the argument leading to the magistrate taking cognizance of the complaint.

Live updates of brief proceedings were reported from inside the court room by journalists.

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