Woman scribe withdraws plea in HC to close sexual harassment

In a setback to former minister A K Saseendran, a woman journalist today withdrew her petition in the Kerala High Court in which she had sought to quash a sexual harassment case filed against him based on her complaint.

Justice Sunil Thomas allowed the plea of the woman seeking to withdraw her petition.

The case against Saseendran was filed last year on a private complaint by the woman journalist in the judicial magistrate court in Thiruvananthapuram, in which she had alleged he misbehaved with her when she met him for an interview.

However, she recently filed the petition in the high court stating that she had amicably settled the matter with the former minister and sought to quash the case pending in Thiruvananthapuram court.

The BJP's Mahila Morcha impleaded itself in the matter and objected to the withdrawal of case.

When the matter was taken up in the morning, Justice Thomas orally observed that public interest was involved in the case.

After the lunch break, the counsel for the petitioner informed the court that they were withdrawing the petition.

The judge then allowed withdrawal of the petition.

Saseendran, a nominee of Nationalist Congress Party, had resigned in April last year after a Malayalam TV channel aired a purported sleaze audio of him in conversation with a woman, who was later identified as the petitioner journalist.

The channel had later tendered an apology admitting that they had conducted a "sting operation" involving one of their women journalists and not a housewife, as claimed earlier.

The Justice P S Antony commission, which went into the allegations against the former minister, had in its report submitted to the government in November last year stated that it could not ascertain the authenticity of the purported voice clip of Saseendran.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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