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In a shocking observation that led to public outrage, a Kozhikode Session Judge in Kerala held that a case of sexual harassment complaint Section 354 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) will not prima facie not stand if the woman was wearing a “sexually provocative dress”.

Kozhikode Sessions Court judge, S Krishna Kumar noted, “In order to attract this Section, there must be a physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours. There must be sexually colored remarks. The photographs produced along with the bail application by the accused would reveal that defacto complainant herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one (sic). So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused.”

The Court granted anticipatory bail to activist and author, Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case.

Judge Kumar also raised questions over the complainant’s allegations while stating that is impossible for a physically disabled man in his 70’s, would have been able to sexually assault the complainant.

Even admitting that there was physical contact it is impossible to believe that a man having aged 74 and physically disabled can forcefully put the defacto complainant in his lap and sexually press her breast. So it is a fit case wherein the accused can be granted bail,” the bench stated.

The prosecution stated that de facto complainant was attending a camp convened by the accused where he caught her hand and forcefully took her to a lonely place and sexually assaulted her.

Activist Chandran was booked under Section 354A(2) (sexual harassment), Section 341 (wrongful restraint) and Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

The counsel appearing for Chandran said that it is a false case cooked up by some of his enemies to ruin his reputation and also pointed out that there was a 5-month delay in lodging the complaint.

The accused also produced the photographs of the complainant which she had posted on her social media to show that she wears sexually provocative clothes. He added that the complainant was with her boyfriend and many people were present at the camp at the time when the incident allegedly occurred.

The Public Prosecutor contended that the accused is in the habit of molesting women and this is the second time that a sexual harassment case has been filed against him.

However, the court rejected all the contentions and granted anticipatory bail to Chandran.

On August 2, he got bail in another sexual harassment case involving offences under Section 354 (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), Section 354A(1)(ii), Section 354 D(2) of IPC and Section 3(1)(w)(i) and 3(2)(va) of the SC/ST (Protection of Atrocities) Act 1989.


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