Remarks made by former Kerala High Court Judge R. Basant and captured by a Malayalam TV channel where he describes the Suryanelli sex scandal victim as one who was “used for child prostitution” have created a furore.
In footage televised on Saturday, the former judge, who delivered the January 2005 High Court judgment in the case acquitting 35 out of the 36 accused, says: “She was used for child prostitution. Child prostitution is not rape. It is immoral. I am not blaming her... It is all there in my judgment.”
Referring to the victim, Mr. Basant adds: “This girl is said to be in captivity. [Yet] she is taken to a doctor for a sore throat. How can her captors do such a thing? Everything is there in the judgment. Please read the judgment.”
Mr. Basant, who currently practises in the Supreme Court, was caught on camera while engaged in a personal conversation with two guests before delivering an address at a national seminar on ‘Whither India’ at Thunchan Paramba in Tirur. The comments seem to have been caught on a camera that was held at a low angle, possibly not in full view of its subjects.