February 1, 2018
KOCHI: Ten months after quitting as Transport Minister, senior Nationalist Congress Party leader A.K. Saseendran on Thursday returned to the Cabinet. His swearing in as Transport Minister comes in less than a week after a court acquitted him of all charges of sexual harassment filed by a woman journalist.
Saseendran had quit in March after a Malayalam channel aired a sexually explicit conversation reportedly between him and a journalist.
State Governor P. Sathasivam administered the oath of office and secrecy to Saseendran at a function in Raj Bhavan, which was attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Cabinet colleagues. Senior leader Thomas Chandy, who had replaced Saseendran as Minister but was forced to quit in a few months following land grabbing allegations against him, did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court in Thiruvananthapuram discharged Saseendran from the Mangalam honey trap case on January 27. However, a social activist has challenged the CJM’s ruling in the Kerala High Court.