Kerala ex-minister chargesheeted in molestation case

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Chennai, Apr 29 (UNI) Former Kerala Public Works Minister P J Joseph was today directed to appear before a magistrate here on May 20 to receive the charge sheet filed against him in connection with his alleged misbehaviour with a woman co-passenger onboard a Chennai-Kochi flight.

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alanthur, N Ramanathan ordered Joseph to appear before him on that date to receive the charge sheet filed by the Meenambakkam police, which alleged that he had tried to grope Mrs Lakshmi Gopakumar when light in the aircraft went off during take-off from the Chennai airport on August three, 2006.

Police filed the charge sheet after investigating the complaint preferred by Mrs Gopakumar, a former TV anchor.

Even though the Magistrate had directed Mr Joseph to appear in the court today, he failed to turn up and instead prayed for extension through his counsel on health grounds.

Allowing the prayer, the magistrate granted him time till May 20.

Mr Joseph, also the Chairman of the Kerala Congress (J), was forced to resign from the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front Government following a public outcry over the incident.

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