A bench of the Madras High Court today reserved it order on the anticipatory bail petition moved by expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa in connection with a sexual harassment case filed by her two domestic aides.
Sasikala appeared before the high court bench here as per the August 26 direction of the Supreme Court, which had said the high court would expeditiously decide her anticipatory bail application.
Justice V M Velumani asked her to explain briefly as to how she had signed the ‘vakalatnama’ (power of attorney) by remaining in a foreign country, a doubt raised earlier by the state Advocate General.
Sasikala said the signature in the vakalatnama was her own and that her husband came and collected her signature and gave it to her advocate.
Her advocate sought time to make a detailed submission, but the court declined to do so and asked him to present it today itself. On August 26, the apex court had granted protection from arrest to Sasikala for six weeks in the case.
It had said the high court would expeditiously decide her anticipatory bail application, uninfluenced by the decision of the apex court.
Sasikala’s advocate submitted that the case had been foisted on her after a gap of more than four years and it was politically motivated. There was no POSCO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) in 2011, but it had been used so that she and her family members could not come out on bail, he said.
The counsel submitted the aides could have complained to the child-help centre or court, but that had not done so.
The Advocate General in his counter said the facts about the ill-treatment of the two domestic aides did not come out because Sasikala had kept them in illegal custody. Both suffered ill-treatment at her hands and that of her family members for long and no anticipatory bail be given, he said.
The counsel for the domestic aides also opposed the anticipatory bail and said his clients had undergone ill-treatment. Justice Velumani then reserved the order.
On August 11, the Delhi High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government not to take any coercive action till August 22 against the expelled AIADMK MP, her husband and their son who are facing the harassment case.
The court had also asked the petitioners to approach the appropriate court in Tamil Nadu for relief by then. It had refrained from passing any order staying the proceedings.
Sasikala was expelled from AIADMK after an alleged altercation with DMK MP Tiruchi Siva at the Delhi airport. Since then she has alleged she was being threatened into resigning from her post.