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Kerala court cites provocative dress to grant bail in sexual harassment case

In a sexual harassment case, a sessions court in Kozhikode, Kerala, granted anticipatory release to author Civic Chandran, 74, stating that the charges against him under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code will not prima facie hold if the complainant was wearing a suggestive outfit.

The complaint referenced images of the plaintiff “herself exposing to outfits which are having some sexual provocative one” Chandran provided with his bail request. Therefore, Section 354A will not be used against Chandran, it was added.

Judge Krishna Kumar’s order, issued last Friday but only made public on Wednesday, was criticised by activists, who also asked the Kerala High Court to get involved. According to the complainant, who filed the case against Chandran for having molested her two years ago, she shared the images shown in court on social media and announced she would take the issue to the high court.

Krishna Kumar also questioned why the First Information Report wasn’t filed sooner; it was submitted in February 2020, two years after the alleged molestation, during a writers’ conference. The complainant said in the FIR that Chandran repeatedly called her to harass her, and she decided to report him when the harassment went too far.

Krishna kumar questioned the veracity of the complaint. Even if there was physical contact, it is
inconceivable that a 74-year-old man with physical limitations could violently put the complainant in his lap and press his private parts against hers. Therefore, it is a case where the offender should be granted bail, according to the order.

“There must be physical contact and advances involving unwanted and explicit sexual overtures to attract Section 354.” A desire or request for sexual favours must exist. There must be comments with a sexual undertone.

Krishna Kumar questioned the accuracy of the complaint. Even if there was physical contact, it is inconceivable that a 74-year-old man with physical limitations could violently put the complainant in his lap and press his private parts against hers. Therefore, it is a case where the offender should be granted bail, according to the order. “There must be physical contact and advances involving unwanted and explicit sexual overtures to attract Section 354.” A desire or request for sexual favours must exist. There must be comments with a sexual undertone

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