MADURAI : Appearing before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, on Monday, in connection with an Anticipatory Bail (AB) petition filed concerning a sexual harassment case, expelled AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa admitted that she did not come to Madurai and put her signature in the Vakalat executed to appoint a lawyer for arguing the case on her behalf.
After returning from Singapore, Sasikala and her husband T Lingeswara Thilagam appeared as ordered by the court. When Justice V M Velumani questioned whether the MP came to the HC bench and put the signature in the Vakalat at Advocate Chamber 51 on August 17, Sasikala replied that she signed it in Delhi and that her husband had brought it to the temple city.
The petitioners’ counsel contended that with the intention of diverting the case, the police had given false information in the court that Thilagam had left the country on August 16. He left for Singapore only on August 18, the counsel claimed.
The Additional Advocate General (AAG) appearing for the government said executing Vakalat is not a ritual but should be done as per the guidelines. Since Sasikala herself has admitted her offence, the court should punish her, the AAG said.
In their anticipatory bail petition, Sasikala, along with Thilagam and son Pradeep Raja, said that based on a complaint given by her housemaid Banumathi, the Pudukottai All Women Police Station, Thoothukudi district, had booked them for alleged physical and sexual harassment. Stating that the allegations were false, the petitioners prayed that the court should give them anticipatory bail.
Earlier, the State government had objected saying that while Thilagam had gone to Singapore from Delhi on August 16, Sasikala left for the same country from Delhi the next day. But as per the Vakalat signed, the couple was present here on August 17. Following this, the HC had directed the couple to appear before it. When the petition was heard in the morning, Justice Velumani asked both the sides to place their submissions.
Maid Banumathi’s counsel contended that the petitioners had not only harassed her sexually but also her sister, who was a minor. Therefore, apart from the various sections, including the TN Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, the police have altered the case to include the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.