4 December 2022

Kochi: A woman’s attire cannot be a license to outrage her modesty nor can it be a ground for absolving the accused who committed such a crime, the Kerala High Court has said.

Justice Kauser Edappa Gath said objectifying a woman based on what she wears ” cannot be justified ” and it should not be believed that women dress only to lure male attention.

” There is no reason why a woman should be judged by her clothes. Norms that categorize women based on their attire and expressions can never be tolerated. There cannot be any thought that women dress only to lure male attention. It is wrong to say that a woman was sexually assaulted just because she was wearing provocative clothes. “

Woman's attire does not license
Woman’s attire does not license

” Sexually provocative dressing of a victim cannot be construed as a legal ground to absolve an accused from the charge of insulting the modesty of a woman. 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 , ” the judge ob served in its October 13 order. The observation by the court came while expunging from a bail order of a sessions court the remarks that the offense of molestation would not be attractive as the victim was wearing a sex ually provocative dress.

This remark was made by a sessions court in the anticipatory bail granted to writer and social activist ‘ Civic ‘ Chandran in a sexual harassment case.

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