Kerala

Sexual assault case: Writer Civic Chandran gets anticipatory bail 

The Kozhikode Sessions Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to writer and social activist Civic Chandran in a case registered against him for allegedly attempting to molest a Dalit woman writer.

Judge S. Krishnakumar granted bail to Mr. Chandran on various grounds such as his old age, his health condition marked by the inability to stand straight, and the unsatisfactory explanation of the victim for the long delay in filing a complaint at the police station.

The court endorsed the argument of defence counsels P.V. Hari and M. Sushama that the sexual assault was highly improbable, as the accused was a 74-year-old-man, and the victim, 42, was taller than him and well- built.

“Considering his age and poor health condition, it cannot be believed that the accused made a kiss on her back without her consent. The different photographs showed that the victim and the accused were in cordial terms, and there was some dispute with respect to the publication of a literature written by the victim,” the order said.

The court also ordered that the offences charged under different Sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act would not prima facie stand against him. The available materials produced in court “clearly showed that this is an attempt to tarnish the status of the accused in society. He is fighting against caste system and is involved in a number of agitations,” it said.

Significantly, no conditions were imposed on his anticipatory bail. However, in the case of his arrest, the writer should be released on bail on executing a bond for ₹50,000 with two solvent sureties, the court said.

Mr. Chandran has been absconding since the Koyilandy police registered two cases against him. However, his lawyers had secured an order that he should not be arrested until the court disposed of the anticipatory bail petitions.

In the first case, Mr. Chandran was charged under various Sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 A (punishment for sexual harassment), and 354 D (punishment for stalking) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with the alleged incident on April 17, 2022. The First Information Report (FIR) was filed on July 16, 2022.

The second sexual assault case was registered against him under Sections 354, 354 A, and 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) of the IPC in connection with the incident that occurred at Nandi beach near Koyilandy in February 2020. The FIR in this case was also registered last month. The court will hear the anticipatory bail plea of the writer in the second case on Wednesday. Apart from public prosecutor K.N. Jayakumar, two other lawyers also appeared for the complainant.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 9:37:45 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sexual-assault-case-writer-civic-chandran-gets-anticipatory-bail/article65717222.ece