Kerala court blames woman for ‘exposing’ in sexually provocative dresses, grants bail to accused : The Tribune India

Kerala court blames woman for ‘exposing’ in sexually provocative dresses, grants bail to accused

‘In order to attract Section 354 A (sexual harassment), there must be physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures’

Kerala court blames woman for ‘exposing’ in sexually provocative dresses, grants bail to accused

Photo for representation. — iStock

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 18

Blaming a woman complainant for “exposing” in sexually provocative dresses, a Kozhikode sessions court in Kerala has granted anticipatory bail to writer-activist Civic Chandran – accused of sexually harassing her.

District and Sessions Judge S Krishna Kumar said the charge under Section 354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code would not be attracted if the complainant woman was wearing “sexually provocative” dress.

“In order to attract Section 354 A (sexual harassment), there must be physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours. There must be a sexually-coloured remark. The photographs produced with the anticipatory bail application by the accused reveal that the complainant herself is exposing in dresses which are sexually provocative. Section 354 A will not prima facie stand against the accused.”

Chandran – who had produced photographs of the complainant along with his bail application—was granted anticipatory bail on August 12. Earlier, he was given anticipatory bail on August 2 in another sexual harassment case.

In another controversial order with regard to applicability of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the judge said offences under the Act would not prima facie stand against Chandran as he was fighting against the caste system.

National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma and CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat have strongly condemned the judge’s observation.

“The observations of the Kozhikode sessions court regarding a complainant’s clothes, while granting bail in a sexual harassment case are extremely unfortunate and @ncwIndia strongly condemns it. The court has overlooked the far reaching consequences of such an order,” Sharma tweeted.

“The higher judiciary should take note of the comment and observations (by the Kerala sessions court) and take the requisite action,” Karat said. (With PTI Inputs)

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