The Kerala High Court on Thursday cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to author Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case, reported Live Law.
Justice A Badharudeen passed the order while hearing a petition by the Kerala government and the complainant challenging the anticipatory bail granted to Chandran by the Kozhikode Sessions Court. The petitioners argued that the order was against the spirit of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Last week, a single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had expunged remarks made by the sessions court judge S Krishna Kumar that the law about outraging a woman’s modesty did not apply if she was wore a “sexually provocative dress”.
However, the High Court had upheld the order granting the anticipatory bail.
On August 2, the sessions court had granted anticipatory bail to Chandran in a case in which a Dalit woman writer had accused him of attempting to molest her. The author had been booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code as well as provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
However, Judge Kumar had said that in order for the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act to be applicable, the accused person would have to know that the woman belonged to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
In his order, Kumar had said that offences under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act would not prima facie stand against the 74-year-old as it “is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is member of Scheduled Caste”.
On August 12, Civic got anticipatory bail in another case of alleged sexual harassment, in which a woman accused him of sexually harassing her on a beach in February 2020. While granting him pre-arrest bail, the sessions court had observed that Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (outraging of a woman’s modesty) would not be applicable if the woman was wearing a “sexually provocative dress”.