Kerala Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Activist In Sexual Harassment Case By Dalit writer

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Thiruvananthapuram: While granting anticipatory bail to writer and social critic Civic Chandran, in a sexual harassment case filed against Chandran by a Dalit writer, the Kozhikode district sessions court in Kerala observed that offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act would not prima facie stand against the accused as it “is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is member of Scheduled Caste”.Also Read – HDFC Bank Opens First All-Women Branch In Kerala. Deets Inside

“In order to attract the offence under the Act, it has to be established that the accused was with the knowledge that the victim belonged to a member of SC/ST,” the court said in a recent order. Also Read – Sexual Harassment Charge Will Not Stand If Woman Wears ‘Provocative Dress’: Kerala Court

Two cases of sexual harassment were filed against 74-year-old Chandran this year and he was granted anticipatory bail in both. In the first case filed on July 17, a Dalit writer and poet had alleged that on the morning of April 17 this year, revealed his ‘love’ for her and kissed her on the back of her neck. The district court in Kozhikode granted him anticipatory bail in this case on August 2. Also Read – Travel Any Distance in Kochi Metro For Only Rs 10 This Independence Day. More Details Inside

Sessions court 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 copy of the SSLC book of the accused shows that he had refused to mention caste name in it. The accused is a reformist and is engaged in fighting against the caste system, writing for a casteless society,” the court added.

In the second case, a woman alleged that on February 8, 2020, after a gathering at a beach, Chandran forcefully took her to a lonely place, asked her to lie on his lap and molested her. While granting anticipatory bail to the accused in the second case on August 12, the same court had observed that offences under Section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) are prima facie ‘not attracted’ when the woman was wearing ‘sexually provocative dresses.’

Chandran was booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code related to sexual harassment and use of assault or criminal force with an intent to outrage a woman’s modesty along with various sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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