Kochi: Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed all further proceedings against former Left Democratic Front minister Jose Thettayil in a sexual harassment case. The order was issued by Justice P Bhavadasan on a petition by Thettayil seeking to quash the FIR registered against him in the case.
The court also issued notice to the complainant and said she would be heard on Thursday. The judge observed that prima facie no offence is disclosed in the complaint against Thettayil.
Thettayil, JD-S MLA from Angamally, is the first accused in the case while his son, Adarsh, is the second accused.
The Aluva Police had on June 22 registered a case against Thettayil and his son for sexual harassment based on the complaint of a woman that she had been sexually harassed by the father and son.
Thettayil, who was the Transport Minister in the previous LDF government, had contended that he has not committed any offence punishable under IPC section 376 (rape) and the averments and allegations of the woman were absolutely false.
"It is reliably understood that the woman had been instigated by some prominent leaders of the ruling political Front to fabricate a false case and to file a frivolous complaint against the petitioner and his son with the ulterior motive to tide over the political crisis prevailing in the state," the plea had stated said.
"The inordinate delay in preferring the complaint is a tell tale circumstance buttressing the above suspicion. Still the police even without ascertaining the veracity of the allegations registered the crime on extraneous considerations," the petitioner submitted.
Even if all the allegations are taken to be true, it will disclose only consensual relationship on the initiative taken by the woman intended to trap the accused persons and to blackmail them in future, which will not constitute an offence under IPC 376, the petitioner stated.