Former judges, politicians, and netizens, have all been outraged by the recent observations made by Judge S Krishnakumar of the Kozhikode District Sessions Court in the bail hearings of Civic Chandran – a well-known activist, writer and former Maoist – in two sexual harassment cases.
The 71-year-old faces two cases of sexual harassment, the first filed on 17 July and the second on 29 July. While he received bail in the first case on 2 August, the second one was received on 12 August.
First Case: A Dalit writer complained to the police that Chandran had tried to kiss her on her neck and outraged her modesty on 17 April.
Second Case: A woman alleged that Chandran sexually harassed her in 2020 at a poetry camp at Kozhikode’s Nandi beach.
'A Reformist Against Caste System...': Kerala Court's Remark
While the outrage was triggered by the observations (in the second case) that the offence under sexual harassment is not prima facie attracted when the woman is wearing a "sexually provocative dress," the judge had also said this in the 2 August order while granting bail to Chandran:
“The accused is a reformist and is engaged in social activities…and he is against the caste system...In such a circumstance it is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of scheduled caste.”
Citing Chandran’s “no knowledge” of her caste, the court said that charges under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act will not stand against the accused.
He was booked under penal sections related to assault and outraging a woman’s modesty, as well as sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
According to the bail order, Chandran met the woman in Koyilandy on 17 April this year. He allegedly said, “I want to kiss the back of your neck,” which he then proceeded to do as per the woman.
While granting bail, the court also noted that while Chandran was “74,” the woman has a “well-built body and aged 42” and is “taller” than Chandran.
“Considering his age and poor health condition,” the order said that it cannot be believed that the accused kissed her on the back of her head without her consent, Newslaundry reported.
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