Kochi The Kerala high court has expunged the ‘sexually provocative dress’ remark made by the Kozhikode sessions court while granting anticipatory bail to writer Civic Chandran.

The high court also upheld the decision of the sessions court granting anticipatory bail to Chandran.

The bench of S Krishnakumar in the Kozhikode sessions court passed the controversial order on August 12, as it had observed that sexual harassment complaints would not stand if the woman were wearing a “sexually provocative dress”.

The court observed this while granting anticipatory bail to writer and social activist Civic Chandran in a case of sexual harassment.

The Kerala government has approached the high court challenging the anticipatory bail granted to Chandran in the sexual harassment case filed by a Dalit writer.

The state government has submitted the petition under Sections 482 and 439(2) of the CrPC and alleged that the findings and reasoning given by the sessions court in the anticipatory bail are suffering from illegality, lack of sensitivity, sobriety and perversity.

The government has contended in the petition: “The conclusion drawn by the Kozhikode Sessions Court amounts to an infringement of the personal liberty of the victim and a violation of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

“The findings of the court are, per se, illegal, unjust and potentially expose the survivor to secondary trauma. The Supreme Court decision about the dress, behaviours or past ‘conduct’ or ‘moral’ of the Prosecutrix should not enter the verdict while granting bail. The Sessions Court flouted all the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and granted pre-arrest bail to the accused by making observations which the Supreme Court deprecated,” the petition said.

By Shadab

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