The Aam Aadmi Party government has found itself at the centre of a storm since Wednesday, when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sacked his Minister for Women and Child development Sandeep Kumar, for appearing in a sex tape. While the contents of the tape, which were first telecast on ABP News, appear to be of consensual sexual activity between Kumar and two women, Kejriwal has taken umbrage to the situation.

“Sandeep Kumar betrayed the party, he betrayed the AAP movement and the trust people across the country have reposed on AAP," he stated. "We will never ever compromise on our core values. We will prefer to die, close the party or perish than tolerating wrongdoings.”

Members within AAP have professed differing views on Kumar’s sacking. Senior party leader Ashutosh wrote an impassioned column on the NDTV website defending Kumar, claiming the party’s eagerness to let him go was a reflection of the country’s hypocritical moral standards.

Invoking the sexual habits of leaders across history, Ashutosh described the insatiable appetites of men like Mao Tse Tung, and the allegedly philandering Jawaharlal Nehru to illustrate that greater men had committed greater indiscretions, with no consequence to their careers.

Moral hypocrisy

In this meandering defence of his colleague, the former journalist failed to focus on the issue central to Kumar’s alleged sex scandal: if the private affairs of public leaders are not illegal, they do not merit wider public debate at all. So far, the sexual activity on tape appears to have occurred between consenting adults. It is unclear whether Kumar or his partners were in fact married, or cheating on their spouses, so it is difficult to peg moral outrage on claims of adultery either. In fact, if Kumar and his partners willingly made a sex tape for their own enjoyment, then the fact that it is being redistributed without their consent, makes them victims of a crime. The police should direct their efforts to investigating the anonymous whistleblower who first deposited the CD with ABP news.

If each person depicted in the video consented to having sex, and to sex being recorded on tape – Kumar's activities pose no legal or moral burden for his party at all. There also seems to be no evidence to suggest when the tapes were made, so it is possible that Kumar and his partners recorded the video long before he ever joined AAP, or became a member of the cabinet.

So it is fair to wonder on what grounds the Delhi Police Crime Branch has started an investigation against Kumar instead of investigating who violated Kumar and his partners' consent by making a private video public.