A Kerala court has said that criminalising outraging a woman’s modesty is not applicable to a complainant if she was wearing a “sexually provocative dress,” according to Live Law, as it granted bail to author and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case.
According to the photographs provided by the accused, the complainant herself was exposed to dresses with some sexual provocation, according to the court. “As a result, Section 354A will not stand as a prima facie case against the accused,” the judicial body added.The court was also taken aback by the 74-year-old physically disabled accused’s ability to forcefully place the complainant in his lap and press her breasts. The Sessions Court also stated that based on the language of Section 354, it is clear that the accused must have intended to offend a woman’s modesty. Section 354A addresses sexual harassment and its penalties. It went on to say that in order to be subject to Section 354A, there must be physical contact and advances, including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, as well as sexually tinged remarks, demands, or requests for sexual favours.In presenting the bail application before the court, counsel for the accused, Advocates P.V. Hari and Sushama M, called the matter a “false” case fabricated against the accused by some of his enemies seeking vengeance. At the Koyilandi police station, two sexual harassment cases have been filed against Chandran. Civic Chandran had previously been granted anticipatory bail in the first case due to his advanced age and health issues. In this case, Chandran sexually harassed a writer from a scheduled caste in April at a book launch event in Koyilandi.
By Subhechcha Ganguly