Kerala government pleader resigns after sexual harassment survivor accuses him of raping her

The woman had approached the pleader for legal advice in the earlier harassment case.

ByK A Shaji

Published Nov 30, 2023 | 2:15 PMUpdated Nov 30, 2023 | 2:15 PM

Kerala government pleader resigns after sexual harassment survivor accuses him of raping her

Advocate PG Manu, a senior government pleader in the High Court of Kerala, resigned on Thursday, 30 November, after the police registered a case of rape against him.

Manu forwarded his resignation via Messenger after Advocate General (AG) K Gopalakrishna Kurup asked him to put in his papers. The AG’s officer accepted the resignation and forwarded it to the Law Department for further action.

A 25-year-old woman — a survivor of sexual harassment in 2018 — from Chottanikara near Kochi lodged a written complaint with the police saying Manu repeatedly raped her when she had approached him for legal advice in the harassment case.

The Ernakulam Rural District Police Superintendent forwarded her complaint to the Chottanikara Police and ordered an investigation. The police said the woman would be presented before a magistrate to record her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC.

According to investigators, the lawyer made sexual advances for the first time when he summoned her to his office to record her statement in connection with the sexual harassment case in which she had sought his assistance.

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The incident

According to the complainant, the lawyer allegedly raped her at his office on 9 October, and repeated the offence on 24 October and 29 October.

The woman complained that Manu continued harassing her over the phone and sent her sleazy photographs and videos. The complainant stated that she contacted the prosecutor on the advice of a former police officer, who had investigated the sexual harassment case she had filed.

On the first occasion, she arrived at his office with her parents. The prosecutor reportedly made the parents wait outside and took the woman into his office. He allegedly threatened to reopen the 2018 sexual harassment case and make her an accused. The woman said Manu raped her after issuing the threat, even as her parents waited, oblivious of their daughter’s plight .

He proceeded to make obscene statements over WhatsApp calls and chats, according to the woman. On 24 October, the accused allegedly went to the survivor’s home when she was alone and forced himself on her.

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Woman submits evidence

Later, the prosecutor visited the woman’s house when her mother was present. The older woman noticed her daughter’s uneasiness in his company. On further probing, the younger woman revealed her ordeal.

The woman also alleged in her complaint that in addition to the torture, the accused photographed her in the nude. The complainant has provided the police proof, such as audio snippets and WhatsApp messages from their chats.

After the woman decided to complain, the prosecutor called her relatives and apologised. The audio clips of the apology, too, have been submitted to the police.