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Kerala Govt moves HC against bail granted to Civic Chandran in sexual assault case

Kochi: The Kerala government approached the High Court on Friday, challenging the anticipatory bail granted to author and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual assault case filed by a Dalit writer. The state government sought to cancel the anticipatory bail which was granted by Kozhikode Sessions Court on August 2 which became controversial for the observations made by the Judge allegedly against the SC/ST (PA) Act.

Kozhikode sessions court while granting the anticipatory bail, observed that ‘the accused is a reformist and is engaged in fighting against the caste system, writing for a casteless society. It is highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing she is of the SC’. The appeal filed by the state government contended that ‘the order of the sessions court is against the spirit of the Special Law enacted for Prevention of Atrocities against the people belonging to SC/ST community. The sessions court went wrong in considering the pre-arrest bail application under Section 438 of the CrPC, when there is an absolute bar under Section 18 and 18 A of the SC/ST (PA) Act, 1989’.

The state government also stated in the appeal that, ‘the sessions court seriously erred in stating in the order that there is no prima facie case made out against the accused. The findings of the Sessions Court that no prima facie case is made out are only for the purpose of circumventing the bar under Section 18 of the Act’. In another order granting anticipatory bail on August 12, Court observed that, ‘the offence under Section 354A of the IPC is not prima facie attracted when the woman was wearing sexually provocative dresses’. This also became controversial.