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Women's clothes do not give man licence to outrage her modesty: Kerala HC

Womens clothes do not give man licence to outrage her modesty: Kerala HC

Kochi: The Kerala High Court said a woman's clothes are not a licence to outrage her modesty. It is also not a ground for absolving the accused who committed such a crime.

Justice Kauser Edappagath clarified that objectifying women based on what she is wearing cannot be justified. He added that it should not be believed that women dress to lure male attention. "There is no reason why a woman should be judged by her clothes."

Expunging the bail order of a sessions court, HC observed that norms that categorise women based on their clothes and expressions cannot be tolerated. "It is wrong to say that a woman was sexually assaulted just because she was wearing provocative clothes." The remark was made by a sessions court in the anticipatory bail granted to writer and social activist 'Civic' Chandran in a sexual harassment case.

The High Court noted that the sessions court did not impose sufficient conditions on Chandran while granting him relief.

The court also upheld the relief granted to the social activist saying that the complainant-victim was an educated lady who was unable to satisfactorily explain the delay of over two-and-a-half years in lodging the complaint after the alleged incident occurred. According to the prosecution, the investigation was almost over and in view of the facts and circumstances, "custodial interrogation of the accused does not appear to be necessary," said the court.

The court further said that the right to wear any dress is a natural extension of personal freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of India. "Even if a woman wears a sexually provocative dress, that cannot give a license to a man to outrage her modesty."

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TAGS:Kerala High courtCivic Chandran
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