Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala women’s panel chief has courted controversy while defending an MLA who is facing allegation of sexual abuse.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA PK Sasi is accused of sexually harassing a woman leader of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).

Kerala State Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine, while talking to reporters recently, said “mistakes do happen” while defending the accused MLA.

“This is nothing new... We are all human beings, and mistakes do happen. People inside the party too may also have committed such mistakes,” Josephine told reporters on Thursday.

The CPI (M) party has started an internal probe against its MLA. However, the state women's panel has made it clear that they can’t register a case on its own despite National Commission for Women (NCW) taking note of the incident.

“The woman has not filed a complaint with the women's commission. Even for suo motu case, we need at least the basic details like the nature of complaint which could be revealed either by the media or the victim. In this case, it hasn't happened yet. Then how can we register a case?," Josephine said.

She added, "The Marxist party will have its own system of dealing with these complaints, it's not a new thing. Since its inception, the party has handled such complaints.”

The legislator defended himself saying, “I know that I have not committed any crime. However, if the party is convinced that I have made a mistake, then I am ready to accept any punishment.”

He also said the party conducts investigation when a complaint is received against any member of the party and that is the standard procedure.