A 14-year-old 'ice-cream parlour sex scandal' is giving two key stakeholders in Kerala politics the chills, three months before assembly elections.
The case pertained to an alleged sex racket that operated from a cold drinks parlour in Kozhikode in the mid-1990s and was closed by courts in 2006.
Now, the case is back to occupy mindspace and the ruling CPI(M)-controlled Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) are fighting hard to avoid hits.
Talk about the case resurfaced on Friday after Muslim League (UDF constituent) general secretary PK Kunhalikutty claimed that his brother-in-law KA Rauf had engaged a gang to kill him.Rauf hit back, dragging up the ice-cream parlour case in which Kunhalikutty had found himself embroiled. Rauf alleged Kunhalikutty bought off witnesses in the case and used dubious means to clear his name.
In 2005, Kunhalikutty, then industry minister in the UDF government, resigned after one of the victims in the case alleged he had sexually abused her.
The CPI(M) latched on to Rauf's allegations to target the UDF but soon found itself cornered on the same issue. Two former public prosecutors claimed that the CPI(M)-led EK Nayanar government had also intervened to save Kunhalikutty.
On Sunday, the case took a fresh turn with local TV channel India Vision releasing video grabs in which claims were made that two judges of the Kerala high court were bribed in the case.
In the sting operation video grabs, former additional director of prosecutions KC Peter claims he had helped Rauf bribe Justice K Narayana Kurup and Justice K Thankappan (both retired now) to get a favourable verdict for Kunhalikutty.
Both retired judges have rebuffed Peter's claims.