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A sexual harassment charge (Section 354 A of the Indian Penal Code) will not stand in case a woman was wearing "sexually provocative" dress, a Kerala Court observed on Wednesday. 

Kozhikode Sessions Court granted bail to 74-year-old social activist Civic Chandran on August 12 on observing this. 

The court order read, "The photographs produced along with the bail application by the accused would reveal that the defacto complainant herself is wearing a dress which is sexually provocative. So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused. Even admitting that there was physical contact it is impossible to believe that a man aged 74 and physically disabled can forcefully put the defacto complainant in his lap."

The court was hearing a February 8, 2020 case where the accused along with the complainant and some other people were camping at Nandi Beach. The accused had allegedly caught the hands of the defacto complainant and forcefully took her to a lonely place. He asked the defacto complainant to sit on his lap. Thereafter, he tried to outrage her modesty.

The Koyilandy police registered the case for offences under Sections 354A(2), 341 and 354 of IPC.

The defence said that it was a cooked-up case. The alleged incident happened in February 2020 case while the case was registered on July 29, 2022.

(With inputs from agencies)

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