If “Provocative Clothes”, Sex Harassment Charge Won’t Stand: Court

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A sex harassment charge will not stick if the woman was “wearing a sexually provocative dress”, a Kerala court said today while granting bail to activist Civic Chandran.
A social activist and author, Mr Chandran is accused of sexually harassing a young writer at a camp in Nandi Beach on February 8, 2020.

In his bail application, 74-year-old Mr Chandran produced photographs of his accuser in court.

Reserving its order, the Kozhikode Sessions Court said the woman was wearing “sexually provocative dresses”, so the allegation didn’t wash.

“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,” read the court order. “So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused.”

The court also expressed its disbelief that Mr Chandran, aged 74 and physically challenged, could force himself upon another person.

“Even admitting that there was a physical contact it is impossible to believe that a man having aged 74 and physically disabled can forcefully put the defacto complainant in his lap,” the order read.

According to the woman, Mr Chandran had organized a camp at Nandi Beach on February 8, 2020. She alleged that Mr Chandran forcefully took her to a secluded place and touched her inappropriately.

The police registered a case against Mr Chandran on 29 July this year.

Mr Chandran’s lawyers said the case is “false” and “cooked up by the enemies of the accused”. They also questioned why it took more than two years to register the case when the alleged offence took place in 2020.

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