‘Civic’ Chandran Surrenders Before Investigating Officer in Sexual Harassment Case

Writer and social activist ‘Civic’ Chandran, who is an accused in a sexual harassment case filed by a Dalit woman, on Tuesday surrendered before the investigating officer. The accused reached the Vadakara DySP office on Tuesday along with his lawyers after Kerala High Court had recently set aside a sessions court order granting him anticipatory bail.

“He reached the office and surrendered. We will produce him before the court,” Vadakara DySP, R Hari Prasad, told PTI. The sessions court had granted him the relief on the ground that the accused was a reformist and against the caste system and it was highly unbelievable that he would touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC).

Disagreeing with the findings of the lower court, Kerala High Court had on October 20, said the fact that the accused and the complainant woman were very familiar to each other was discernible from prosecution records and therefore, his knowledge about her being a Dalit can be discerned from the materials available on record. The high court had also rejected the accused’s plea for relief on medical grounds, saying that in cases involving serious offences under the SC/ST Act where anticipatory bail is specifically barred by the statute, mere illness of the accused is not a ground for granting the relief.

It had directed Chandran to surrender before the investigating officer within seven days “for subjecting himself for interrogation and medical examination, if any, for the purpose of investigation”. Chandran has been accused in two sexual harassment cases, one by a writer belonging to Dalit community, alleging sexual harassment by him during a book exhibition here in April.

The other was by a young writer, who accused him of sexual harassment during a book exhibition in town in February 2020. He was granted anticipatory bail in both cases by the same sessions court, but was upheld by the high court only in respect of the 2020 case.

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