The Kozhikode sessions judge, who granted anticipatory bail to writer and social activist Civic Chandran in an alleged sexual harassment case saying the accused had produced photographs showing the complainant in “sexually provocative” dresses, granted anticipatory bail to Chandran in another case days earlier, saying it is “highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of Scheduled Caste”.
In an August 2 order on anticipatory bail following a July 17 complaint by a Dalit writer — she alleged that Chandran, who is in his 70s, tried to kiss her on the neck and outraged her modesty on April 17 — Sessions Judge.
S Krishna Kumar said offences under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will not prima facie stand against the accused because it is “highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of Scheduled Caste. In order to attract the offence under the Act, it has to be established that the act of the accused was with the knowledge that the victim belonged to a member of ST/ST.’’
He said available materials showed “this is an attempt to tarnish the status of the accused in society. He is fighting against the caste system and is involved in several agitations. It is not at all stated in the first information statement that the act of the accused was with the knowledge that the victim belonged to a member of SC… The accused is a reformist and is engaged in fighting against the caste system, writing for a casteless society. So offences under sections 3 (1) W (1) and section 3 (2) (va) of the SC ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act will not prima facie stand against the accused.’’
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.
Referring to section 3 (1) W (1) and section 3 (2) (va) of the SC/ST Act, the judge said the accused should have knowledge that the victim belongs to the SC/ST category and such act is of sexual nature and without consent. He said there was no satisfactory explanation from the woman regarding the delay in filing the complaint.
Considering the age and health condition of the accused, it cannot be believed that he kissed the woman who is taller than him, the judge said, noting that they had cordial relations, but had a dispute over publication of a work she wrote.
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In another order granting anticipatory bail to Chandran on August 12 – the second complaint too was of sexual harassment – Judge S Krishna Kumar said, “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 to dresses which are sexually provocative. Section 354 A will not prima facie stand against the accused.’’