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Kerala HC Rejects Anti-Transfer Plea of Judge Who Made 'Provocative Dress' Jibe

Justice Anu Sivaraman said there was no reason to interfere with the transfer order as the post.

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A plea moved by a Sessions Judge who made controversial observations in his orders while granting bail to an accused in two sexual harassment cases, against his transfer order was dismissed by the Kerala High Court on Thursday, 1 September.

Justice Anu Sivaraman said there was no reason to interfere with the transfer order as the post — of Presiding Officer of Labour Court — that he has been transferred to was equivalent to that of a District Court Judge.

The high court said that the judge — S Krishnakumar — has not lost any legal rights due to the transfer and he has a responsibility to work at the place of assignment.

The court also said that the transfer was part of normal procedure. Krishnakumar, 59, in his plea had said that he was discharging his duty as a Principal District and Sessions Judge, Kozhikode, from June 6 2022 and his transfer order issued by the Registrar of the High Court was against the transfer norms.

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He had contended that as per transfer norms, he was entitled to continue as Principal District and Sessions judge, Kozhikode, till his retirement on May 31 2023.

Krishnakumar had said he can be transferred as per the norms before completing three years of service only if it is necessary in the interest of administration or under special circumstances.

"Wrong order passed while discharging judicial duty cannot be a ground for transfer," the judge said in the plea.

Chandran was booked under sections 354, 354 (A) (i), 354 A (2), and 354 D (2) of the IPC and sections 3 (1) w (1) and 3 (2) (va) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Krishnakumar's observations regarding survivors in his two orders on the anticipatory bail pleas moved by accused 'Civic' Chandran, who is also a writer and social activist, in two sexual harassment cases had stirred up a controversy.

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While granting bail to Chandran in the case, Krishnakumar, in his order dated 2 August, observed that the accused is a reformist, and against the caste system and it is highly unbelievable that he would touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC).

The judge had also made controversial observations about the dressing of the survivor while granting bail to Chandran in the bail application moved by the latter in another case of sexual harassment against him.

In its August 12 order, the court had observed that the photograph of the complainant, produced by the accused along with the bail application, would explain that she herself dressed in a sexually provocative manner and it is impossible to believe that a man aged 74 and physically disabled would ever do the offence.

The Kerala government has moved the High Court seeking to set aside the sessions court orders granting bail to 'Civic' Chandran in both cases.

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Topics:  Kerala HC 

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