Chairperson of Kerala Women’s Commission calls sexual harassment a ‘human mistake’

Towing the infamous stance taken by the ex-Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh, the chief of Kerala’s women commission MC Josephine came out in defence of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA who is accused of rape. Josephine termed it a ‘mistake’ and added that such ‘mistakes’ do happen.

The chairperson of the Women’s Commission of Kerala, when asked about comments on the accusation of sexual harassment against the MLA, stated: “mistakes do happen”. PK Sasi the MLA from Kerala’s Shornur constituency is accused of sexual harassment by a woman from the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). Josephine commenting on the subject shockingly stated

“We are all human beings, mistakes do happen. People inside the party may also have committed such mistakes.”

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This statement by the state commission’s chairperson comes on the back of the National Commission taking cognisance of the matter earlier and directing the Kerala Police to begin an investigation. The commission on September 6th tweeted that NCW has written to the Director General of Police and the Chief of the state police, Kerala to ensure proper investigation in the case.

They have also asked the police to keep the commission in the loop about the actions taken in the said case. The commission in its tweet also called for a ‘speedy delivery of justice to the victim’.

Josephine also added that the state women’s panel cannot initiate a probe into the matter even though the National Commission of Women has urged the state police to begin an investigation. Josephine explaining her stance talked about how the woman has yet to file a complaint with the Women’s commission. When asked about the commission’s Suo Muto cognisance, Josephine stated that the state commission is unaware of the nature of the crime thus are not in a position to take cognisance of the said case. According to reports, she insisted that the Marxist party ‘has its own system’ of dealing with such complains.

This is not the first time the state women commission chairperson has taken a controversial stand the subject of sexual assault on a woman. Easier, she had opined that hiding the names of victims of sexual assault is an anti-women approach. She had said that the thinking that hiding the name of victims ensures the safety of women is the result of anti-women consciousness.

The state commission’s behaviour on this issue and the insinuation that state institutions are not required, coupled with the undertone of attempted silencing of the issue by making it an inner-party one paints a grim picture of the state of law and order in Kerala.

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