India: Judge rules sexual assault victim wore 'provocative clothing', grants offender bail

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal slams observation


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File photo
File photo

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 1:51 PM

The district sessions court in Kerala's Kozhikode made the observation that a sexual harassment victim wore 'provocative' clothing, and granted bail to 74-year-old offender Civic Chandran, in a sexual abuse case.

On Wednesday, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal slammed the observation made by a court in Kerala, that an offence under sexual harassment would not prima facie stand when the woman was wearing a "sexually provocative dress".

She questioned who could decide whether the clothes were revealing or not, and asserted that the Kerala High Court needed to rethink this matter and "take [appropriate] action".

Maliwal, in a video message, raged:

"If a judge will speak such language, what will the common man say? An eight-month-old girl wearing frock was raped in Delhi. Were her clothes also sexually provocative? Who decides whether an outfit is provocative or decent?"

She insisted that the mentality to blame the victim in such cases had to change.

The Kerala Women's Commission had also hit out at the court observation, with its chairperson P Satheedevi terming it "unfortunate", and said that by making such references even before evidence is presented and a trial is held, the court effectively dismisses the allegations levelled by the complainant.


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