Reprieve for Kerala ex-minister facing sex scandal heat

Kochi, July 9 (IANS) Beleaguered former Kerala minister Jose Thettayil Tuesday got a short reprieve when the Kerala High Court stayed for 10 days the proceedings in rape a case filed against him.

The court was hearing the minister's a petition for quashing the rape case against him filed by a 30-year-old woman who alleged that the former minister and his son Adarsh repeatedly exploited her sexually last year and claimed to have video proof of her allegation.

Visuals of the alleged acts were last month telecast on some TV channels in the state.

While the court observed that on the basis of the first information report a rape case against Thettayil did not stand, it issued notice to the complainant woman to appear before the court Thursday.

Thettayil is a legislator of the Janata Dal-Secular that is in the opposition.

In his petition, Thettayil said there was no rape involved and that a case must be made against the woman for circulating the visuals.

The court would next hear the case July 19. Sources said the woman may approach the Supreme Court to get relief.

The complainant said Thettayil promised her that he would get his son married to her, but did not keep his word.

Thettayil, who represents the Angamaly constituency in Ernakulam district, has stayed away from the public glare since June 23, after the visuals of the alleged sexual exploitation were telecast on TV.

Incidentally in the Kerala assembly Tuesday, a veiled reference was made by Congress legislator Sivadasan Nair that one of their "fellow legislator" has been missing for many days and why is that the home minister is not making any attempts to trace him.

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