Kerala tightens norms for renting rooms for former MLA’s

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014,19:49 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Embarrassed over the alleged incident of a criminal accused staying in the MLA hostel, the Kerala legislature secretariat today decided to tighten norms for renting rooms for former legislators and also bring the MLA hostel campus under CCTV surveillance. A decision in this regard was taken at an all-party meeting at assembly complex, attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan and other party leaders, Speaker G Karthikeyan told reporters here. The meeting decided to entrust the Legislature Secretary to conduct a detailed probe into the reports of a sex racket blackmail accused taking refuge in the hostel in a room booked under the name of former Congress legislator T Saratchandra Prasad. Referring to the incident, Karthikeyan said the accused was not arrested from the MLA hostel, but taken into custody by police after a chase from nearby Parasalla. Police had informed the Legislature secretariat that a wanted man was found within the vicinity of MLA hostel on the basis of the mobile tower location and sought permission to keep a watch on the accused. Police had never entered the hostel or carried out any searches, he added. Giving details of the new guidelines to book rooms for former legislators, Karthikeyan said under no circumstances would rooms be rented out to another person merely on the basis of a ‘letter’ from a former legislator. Former MLAs would not get rooms for more than 10 days a month. Only family members of former MLAs would be allowed to stay in the room, he said while explaining new 17 norms for booking rooms for former legislators. The arrest of Jayachandran (46) a few days back after it was found he had been staying in a room rented in the name of a former Congress MLA had sparked protests from several quarters. An accused in what came to be known in local parlance as blackmail sex scam, Jayachandran was member of a Kochi based gang that had allegedly taken videos of several persons, including politicians and high profile businessmen, after pushing them into a sex trap. The gang used the clippings to extort huge sums of money from them. While other members of the racket were arrested over a week ago, Jayachandran was absconding.