The Civic Chandran case and particularly his bail by the Kozhikode district sessions court is amplifying day by day with one controversy or another. Many news outlets have reported the court saying that it is highly unbelievable he will touch the victim knowing she is a member of Scheduled Caste.
In fact, the court made the observations while granting anticipatory bail to Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case filed against him by a Dalit writer that “The accused is a reformist and is engaged in social activities…and he is against the caste system…In such a circumstance it is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of scheduled caste.”
There has been a huge uproar over the remarks by the court which suggested that since the woman was wearing a “provocative dress, case of sexual harassment is not attracted prima facie.
Judge S Krishnakumar of the Kozhikode District Sessions Court has outraged the public, former judges, politicians of all hues and social organisations with his particularly insensitive handling in delivering the bail order.
71-year-old Civic Chandran – a well-known activist, writer and former Maoist –faces two sexual harassment cases. The first was filed on 17 July and the second on 29 July. While he received bail in the first case on 2 August, the second one was received on 12 August.
In the first case, a 42-year-old Dalit writer complained to the police that Chandran tried to kiss her on her neck and outraged her modesty on 17 April. While in the second case, a woman alleged that Chandran sexually harassed her in 2020 at a poetry camp at Kozhikode’s Nandi beach.
Court refused to accept the applicability of the charges under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act against the accused citing that Chandran did not have knowledge of her caste.
The bail order noted that Chandran is “74,” and the woman aged 42 has a “well-built body and is “taller” than Chandran. “Considering his age and poor health condition,” It cannot be believed that the accused kissed her on the back of her head without her consent, the order said.
Chandran met the woman in Koyilandy on 17 April this year. He allegedly said, “I want to kiss the back of your neck,” which he then proceeded to do.