sexually provocative


Court of Sessions, Kozhikode: In an interesting case, S. Krishna Kumar, Sessions Judge granted bail to 74 years old Malayali activist and writer Civic Chandran in a sexual assault case. While releasing the accused on bail, the Court remarked,

“The defacto complainant herself was dressed in sexually exposing and provocative clothes. Hence Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused.”

Factual Background

The incident in question is said to have occurred on 08-02-2020, when the defacto complainant attended a camp convened by the accused and others at Nandi beach. It was her case that when the participants were returning, the accused caught hold of her hand and forcefully took her to a secluded place; where he made her lie on his lap, pressed her breast, and tried to outrage her modesty.

An FIR was filed against the accused for offences under Sections 354-A (2) 341 and 354 of the Penal Code, 1860. The defacto complainant contended that it is the habit of the accused to molest lady poets and the instant case is the second crime registered against him; moreover, more persons are ready to file complaints against him.

Application for Bail

The case of the defacto complainant was contested on the following grounds:

  • It was a false case cooked up by enemies to seek vengeance against the accused.

  • The alleged offence was said to have commenced on 08-02-2020, while the case was registered on 29-07-2022, without offering any explanation regarding the delay.

  • The defacto complainant, being an educated lady, was well aware of the consequences of sexual assault. Hence, her reluctance to file a complaint had to be explained by her.

  • The accused is aged 74 years and holds a good reputation in society.

Pointing at the social media post of the defacto complainant, the accused contended that she had gone to the place of occurrence with her boyfriend, the invitation letter revealed that they had gone to ‘Kedal Veedu' which was owned by one Noorudheen. Further, there were many people at the time of the alleged incident yet no one pointed out any complaint against the accused.

Observations of the Court

The Court noted that it is the settled legal position that long delay in filing FIR must be properly explained. The offences alleged against the accused had occurred after the amendment to Sections 354A to E were incorporated.

The Court observed that there must be an assault or use of criminal force on a woman with an intention to outrage her modesty to establish an offence under Section 354. Further, in order to attract Section 354A, there must be physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours, and there must be sexually coloured remarks.

Pointing at the photographs produced by the accused along with the bail application, the Court opined that the defacto complainant herself was dressed in sexually exposing and provocative clothes. Hence Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused. The Court expressed,

“Even admitting that there was a physical contact, it is impossible to believe that a man who is aged 74 years and is physically disabled can forcefully put the defacto complainant in his lap and sexually press her breast.”


Consequently, the Court concluded that the accused could be released on bail. Accordingly, the bail application was allowed. The authorities concerned were directed to release the accused on bail on executing a bond for Rs. 50,000.

[Civic Chandran v. State of Kerala, Cr. Misc. No. 1303 of 2022, decided on 12-08-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

P.V. Hari and Sushama M., Advocates, for the Accused;

Public Prosecutor, for the State.

*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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