In a sexual assault case filed by a Dalit woman against the social activist Civic Chandran (70) accused him of “kissing her on neck against her consent and outraging her modesty”.
While granting anticipatory bail, the judge of the sessions court, S. Krishan Kumar said “Highly unbelievable that he will touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she is a member of Scheduled Caste.” To attract the offence under the Act, it has to be established that the act of the accused was with the knowledge that the victim belonged to a member of ST/ST.’’
Adding, “This is an attempt to tarnish the status of the accused in society. He is fighting against the caste system and is involved in several agitations. It is not at all stated in the first information statement that the act of the accused was with the knowledge that the victim belonged to a member of SC… The accused is a reformist and is engaged in fighting against the caste system, writing for a casteless society. So offences under sections 3 (1) W (1) and section 3 (2) (va) of the SC-ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act will not prima facie stand against the accused.’’
Kerala state government moved to the High court challenging this verdict appealing that the session court went wrong when there is an absolute bar under Sections 18 and 18 A of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (PA) Act, 1989.