The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed the transfer of a judge who was moved days after he had granted bail to a person accused of sexual harassment saying that the complainant was wearing a “sexually provocative dress”, Bar and Bench reported.
The former Kozhikode Principal District and Sessions Judge S Krishna Kumar was transferred to Kollam as a presiding officer of the Labour Court on August 24. This was twelve days after he had made the controversial remarks while granting anticipatory bail to author Civic Chandran.
Kumar had also granted anticipatory bail to Chandran on August 2, saying that the author was against the caste system and it was “highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of Scheduled Caste”.
The judge had previously challenged his transfer before a single judge of the Kerala High Court on the ground that he was discharging his duty as the Kozhikode principal district and sessions judge since June 6 and his transfer order was against the transfer norms.
However, his plea was rejected by the court which held that Kumar, being a responsible member of the district judiciary, was expected to render services wherever he is posted.
“The grounds raised in the writ petition did not justify grant of any relief sought by the petitioner,” said the court.
Kumar then challenged the decision of the single-bench. He said that his transfer was a punitive action that will diminish the morale of judicial officers and deter them from making free and fair decisions, according to the Hindustan Times.
While Kumar has claimed that the transfer order was issued because of his comments, a High Court notification on August 24 had said that the move is part of the routine transfer and posting of judicial officers.
However, the transfer had come after the Kerala government had moved the High Court seeking to set aside bail order passed by Kumar, saying that it was “illegal, unjust and could cause trauma to the complainant”.