Kerala High Court | Photo: PTI
Kochi: A judge, who has made controversial observations in his orders while granting bail to an accused in two sexual harassment cases, has moved the Kerala High Court seeking to quash the order issued by it transferring him as presiding officer of a Labour Court in Kollam.
In his plea filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, Krishnakumar, 59, said he was discharging his duty as a Principal District and Sessions Judge, Kozhikode, from June 6, 2022 and his transfer order issued by the Registrar of the High Court was against the transfer norms.
The judge contended that as per transfer norms, he was entitled to continue as Principal District and Sessions judge, Kozhikode, till his retirement on May 31, 2023.
Krishnakumar said he can be transferred as per the norms before completing three years of service only if it is necessary in the interest of administration or under special circumstances.
"Wrong order passed while discharging judicial duty cannot be a ground for transfer," the judge said in the plea.
Krishnakumar said transferring him was illegal as it was a deputation post and his consent, which was required for transferring him to that post, was not obtained before taking that decision.
The judge said he has been having an unblemished service of 27 years and at the fag end of his career transferring him would tell upon his dedication while discharging duty as a judicial officer.
According to the transfer order issued on August 23, Muralee Krishna S, District and Sessions Judge, Manjeri, would be the new District and Sessions judge, Kozhikode.
Krishnakumar's observations regarding survivors in his two orders on the anticipatory bail pleas moved by accused 'Civic' Chandran, who is also a writer and social activist, in two sexual harassment cases had stirred up a controversy.
The Kerala government has moved the High Court seeking to set aside the sessions court orders granting bail to 'Civic' Chandran in sexual harassment cases against him.
Opposing the Sessions Court order granting bail to Chandran in a case of sexually abusing a Dalit woman, the State government contended that the judgement of the lower court "suffers from illegality and manifest errors" warranting its intervention.
While granting bail to Chandran in the case, Krishnakumar, in his order dated August 2, observed that the accused is a reformist, and against the caste system and it is highly unbelievable that he would touch the body of the victim fully knowing that she belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC).
The judge had also made controversial observations about the dressing of the survivor while granting bail to Chandran in the bail application moved by the latter in another case of sexual harassment against him.
In its August 12 order, the court had observed that the photograph of the complainant, produced by the accused along with the bail application, would explain that she herself dressed in a sexually provocative manner and it is impossible to believe that a man aged 74 and physically disabled would ever do the offence.