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January 23, 2018
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Scribe withdraws plea to quash caseProceedings against Saseendran to continue for now

The woman journalist of a Malayalam channel who had accused former Transport Minister A.K.Saseendran of engaging her in a sleazy conversation on Friday withdrew from the Kerala High Court her petition seeking to quash a criminal case initiated on her complaint against him.

The withdrawal of the petition by the woman journalist comes amidst moves reportedly initiated by the Nationalist Congress Party to induct Mr. Saseendran again into the Cabinet.

In her petition, she pointed out that in the light of a compromise and settlement arrived at between them, the complaint and all further proceedings pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, were liable to be quashed. In fact, none other than the petitioner and Mr. Saseendran would be affected by the compromise and no public interest was involved in the case. She also added that in view of the compromise, “the possibility of conviction” in the case was bleak. Therefore, “extreme injustice” would be caused to the parties if the prosecution was allowed to go ahead.

The government pleader submitted that it did not have any objection to the pleas of the petitioner. Effective prosecution of the case would not be possible if the parties involved in the case settled the matter. In fact, the issues were personal and the complainant was entitled to withdraw her complaint. He added that some of the offences were bailable and compoundable.

When the petition was taken up for hearing, the court observed that it would often take a serious view of such kind of cases in terms of the law. The petitioner’s counsel then sought to withdraw the case, which the court allowed.

The Bharatiya Mahila Morcha and two others had impleaded themselves in the case, opposing the plea of the victim journalist.

The Morcha submitted that the former Minister had outraged modesty of the woman when she met him for an interview on November 8, 2016. Besides, the incident happened at the official residence of the former Transport Minister. It was also pointed out that the magistrate court had earlier dismissed a similar plea of the complainant. In fact, the issue involved affected the public at large, it argued.