Kerala High Court expressed its doubts whether the complaint of the woman did make out a rape case under Section 376 of the IPC

Even as an order was reserved on a petition challenging the First Information Report (FIR) filed against the former Minister Jose Thettayil, MLA, in a case relating to sexual exploitation of a woman, the Kerala High Court expressed its doubts whether the complaint of the woman did make out a rape case under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice P. Bhavadasan reserved his order after the conclusion of the arguments by M.K. Damodaran, senior counsel for Mr. Thettayil, and Director General of Prosecution T. Asaf Ali.

The court expressed its doubt whether the charges under Section 376 of the IPC would stand the judicial scrutiny when the petition came up for hearing. During the hearing, the judge also expressed doubts whether she had recorded the sexual act with the MLA as a tool to blackmail him. It also termed ‘stupid’ the statement that it was to force Mr. Thettayil to get his son married to the complaint that she had allowed him to have consensual sex with her. The allegations were of extraordinary nature and the reason for maintaining relations with father and son was even strange. The court pointed out that it could not say that she was innocent. The court asked whether any other offence would stand against the petitioner other than the rape charges.

Senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that no ingredient for the offence under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC had been made out in her complaint. There was clear evidence in the complaint, which concluded that it was a pre-arranged plan. In fact, the complaints itself said that it was the woman who had invited Mr. Thettayil and brought him in her car at her flat and recorded the sexual act on the webcam. Even if all the allegations in the complaint were taken to be true, it would disclose only consensual relationship on the initiative taken by her, intending to trap the accused and to blackmail them. There was a hidden motive behind the plan. Besides, the complaint had been lodged when the ruling party was facing a crisis. There was no ground for registering an FIR under Section 376 of the IPC.

Director General of Prosecution T. Asaf Ali argued that indeed the complaint had made out an offence under Section 376 of the IPC. He had also denied the accusation that the case was registered due to political vendetta.

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