Kerala Govt. Moves High Court to Challenge Bail Granted to Civic Chandran Convicted for Rape Charges

Priya Gour

Published on: 20th August, 2022 at 19:18 IST

The Kerala government has challenged the grant of anticipatory bail to the author and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case filed by a Dalit author.

The government has moved before the Kerala High Court in this regard. The government called it against the interest of protection of weaker sections and laws made for them.

The accused sexually assaulted the complainant by kissing her neck without her ,after demanding to do so with sexual interest without her consent. The incidence took place during a function organised by the complainant for a book publication. The accused intended to accused outraged the modesty of the victim, knowing that she hailed from Scheduled Caste.

The author accused was booked under sexual harassment case punishable under Sections 354, 354 A(1)(ii), 354A(2), 354 D(2) IPC and provisions under the SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) act.
He has been granted anticipatory bail despite objections from victim.

There is absolute bar under Section 18 and 18 A of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (PA) Act, 1989, regarding bail. Thus, Sessions Court erred in considering the pre-arrest bail application under Section 438 of CrPC.

The court said, while referring to Prathvi Raj Chauhan v. Union of India. The apex court said in the decision that as per Section 18, nothing in Section 438 of the Code shall apply in relation to any case involving the arrest of any person on an accusation of having committed an offense under this Act.

What is stated in Section 18 of the Act is “it shall not apply to cases under the Act 1989 if the complainant does not make out a prima facie case for applicability of the provisions of the Act 1989.

The court also quoted:

“…accused is a reformist and is engaged in social activities and he is against the caste. It is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of scheduled caste.”

Thereby, the Court denied the applicability of Section 3(1)(w)(i) and 3(2)(va) of the SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act will and the bar under Sections 18 and 18A of the Act.   Henceforth, the government has approached the high court due to the order being under criticism and preserve the sanctity of the SC/ST Act.

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