The sex scam involving Angamaly MLA Jose Thettayil took a new turn after the woman complainant told the media that crucial evidence in the case including her laptop containing video footage of her and Mr. Thettayil and the web camera using which it was recorded was handed over to the legislator.
Commenting on the development, a senior leader in the UDF said it was already known that a compromise had been reached between the woman and Mr. Thettayil, and the equipment was handed over to the MLA as part of the compromise. The visuals were leaked after Mr. Thettayil failed to keep his promise, he said.
Legal experts said the new developments could lead to a case being registered against the complainant for blackmail and extortion. “If the reports about the complainant exchanging the laptop and camera for money could be conclusively proved, this will become a clear case of blackmailing,” said A. Jayasankar, advocate at Kerala High Court and a media critic.
Legal experts had earlier said the action on the part of the woman of recording the sex act and releasing it for public transmission could invite provisions of the Information Technology Act against pornography. “Even while not commenting on the moral issues involved, there are some doubts about the bona fide intentions of the complainant. The allegation of rape does not stand as visuals already beamed on the public media showed a consensual act, which cannot be defined as rape under any provisions. Similarly, the time lag between the occurrence and reporting of the same also rules out rape,” said Sivan Madathil, a legal commentator.
Searches at Thettayil’s house
It is learnt that the complainant had already told the investigating team led by Ajeetha Begum, Superintendent of Police, Internal Security Investigation Team, that she had handed over the evidence to Mr. Thettayil. The team conducted searches at Mr. Thettayil’s residence on Friday to collect evidence in the case.
At present, the police team is conducting the probe on the basis of the statement given by the woman and has booked the former minister on charges of sexual assault. This will make the laptop and web camera corroborative evidence and not a key element in the investigation.
Sources in the police also said allegations that the complainant provided the investigators with an edited version of the video footage needed to be confirmed after thorough forensic examination.
Meanwhile, Kerala State Women’s Commission member Lissie Jose and director Jacob Job on Friday visited the complainant.