‘CPI-M Is Court And Police Station’, Says Kerala Women’s Commission Chief Who Refused To Register Sexual Assault Complaint Against Party MLA

by M R Subramani - Jun 8, 2020 01:39 PM +05:30 IST
‘CPI-M Is Court And Police Station’, Says Kerala Women’s Commission Chief Who Refused To Register Sexual Assault Complaint Against Party MLA  Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson M C Josephine.
  • CPI-M central committee member in the eye of the storm after she claims that the party functions like ‘a court and police station’.

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Kerala is facing more embarrassment in the state with one of its woman leaders and Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson M C Josephine saying, “the party is both a court and a police station”.

Addressing media over the sexual assault of a woman by her husband and five of his friends at Kadinamkulam in suburban Thiruvananthapuram, Josephine said her party had taken an impartial action in cases against CPI-M leaders as it was functioning like “a court and police station”.

Josephine, a CPI-M central committee member, was trying to defend her action in the Kerala Women’s Commission not probing a sexual harassment complaint against K S Sasi, party Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Shoranur in Palakkad district.

The commission’s chief, who has been criticised for not taking up the complaint lodged against Sasi lodged by a Democratic Youth Federation of India woman leader, claimed that the complainant had indicated that a probe within the party would suffice.

Then, Josephine told the media that the commission would investigate if a complaint was lodged and no one had made any complaint.

On 8 September 2018, she dismissed the charges of sexual harassment against Sasi saying “mistakes do happen”.

Sasi was acquitted of the charges by the party later, which said the woman was under pressure to lodge a complaint with police.

The MLA himself created a furore 10 days ago when he said “CPI-M’s policy is to torture those who cheat the party”. Later, he expressed regret saying it was a “slip of the tongue”.

An embarrassed Kerala CPI-M chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan refuted Josephine’s claim, saying “the party machinery is not a parallel system that functions as a court or police station”.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who leads the Left Democratic Front government, said his attention had not been drawn to the Women Commission chief’s statement.

Josephine’s statement has been criticised by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the state Women’s Commission is a quasi-judicial body and its chief’s statement was totally unacceptable.

Josephine does not have the credentials to head such a body, he said.

While the State Women’s Commission chief refused to register the charges against CPI-M MLA Sasi suo motu, in April last year she took cognisance of a video posted by Congress leader K Sudhakaran for a video posted on Facebook. The video was reportedly “misogynistic”.

In 2017, Josephine was trolled on social media for her “views on entry of women of reproductive age into Sabarimala Ayyappa temple” and the Christian “confessions”.

The Kerala Women’s Commission favoured entry of women of reproductive age into Sabarimala but criticised demand to stop “confessions” asking “can we make statements that destroy nation’s peace”.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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