The Kerala judge, who received flak for granting anticipatory bail to social activist and author Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case observing that the complainant was wearing a “sexually provocative dress”, had days earlier made controversial observations in another case over the caste of the woman who had accused the same man of sexually harassing her.
In that case, the Kozhikode Sessions court judge S Krishnakumar had granted bail to Civic Chandran on August 2, ruling that he was fighting against the caste system, and it is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the woman fully knowing she is of the Scheduled Caste.
“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. It is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing she is of the Scheduled Caste,” the order said.
Chandran has been named accused in two sexual harassment cases, one by a Dalit writer, who has alleged sexual harassment by him during a book exhibition in April this year. The other case was filed by a young writer, who accused him of sexual harassment during a book exhibition in town in February 2020.
In both cases, Chandran’s lawyers have called the accusations fabricated.
In its August 2 order, the court had observed that the photograph of the complainant, produced by the accused along with the bail application, would explain that she “herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one” and it is impossible to believe that a man aged 74 and physically challenged could force himself upon another person.
“The photographs produced along with the bail application by the accused would reveal that the defacto complainant herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one. So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused,” the court had ruled.