Thiruvananthapuram: State police chief Loknath Behera has referred to the law department for its opinion, Congress legislator Anil Akkara’s petition to prosecute former Transport Minister A. K. Saseendran in the phone sex case, indicating a long haul towards justice for either the “disgraced Minister”, the alleged victim of his phone talk or the public, perturbed by the so-called news bombshell. The Cabinet is scheduled to discuss broad contours of the judicial probe at its weekly meeting on Wednesday. Sources say the focus will be to explore the “conspiracy”, as demanded by NCP State president Uzhavur Vijayan.
For now, a judicial probe is all that the LDF needs. It can deprive the Opposition an incendiary campaign material for the Malappuram by-election on April 12. But Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has life beyond April 12 and there are posers thrown at him. There is a deafening silence on why the criminal part of the sleaze is not subjected to a police probe, which by any reckoning is the first thing to do. Does he not trust his police? Says lawyer S. Sreekumar at the High Court: “Definitely the time-consuming judicial inquiry is not designed to do the job of a policeman. It can probe various angles and recommend a police probe at a leisured pace. The Government is buying time”.
Mr Sreekumar also said that since Mr Saseendran had “voluntarily” stepped down, there is little scope for a public litigant to agitate the matter because the man the centre of the sting has apparently no complaint. But there are questions: Where is the victim homemaker at the receiving end of the phone call from Goa? She could file a plaint and seek in camera trial to protect her identity. When was the offence and what phone number was used by her? Was there a quid pro quo sexual gratification? Or was it merely a personal indulgence, intrusively audio-taped for ulterior motives? Did not Mr Vijayan refuse to approach the Solar Commission because it was not headed by a sitting judge? What higher level of credibility does the new probe have, when Mr Vijayan himself has ruled out a sitting judge?