Photographs produced with the man’s bail application show the woman wearing “sexual (sic) provocative” dresses, the court order said, adding that based on the court’s first impression her complaint would “not … stand” against the accused.
It was also “impossible to believe” the disabled man could “forcefully” pull the woman into his lap and “sexually press her breast,” the court order said.
CNN reached out to the man’s lawyer, but had not heard back at the time of publishing.
The news sparked outrage in India, where women face widespread discrimination and allegations of sexual assault often go underreported due to the lack of legal recourse and a notoriously slow legal system.
The chairperson of Delhi’s Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal, condemned the district judge and urged Kerala’s High Court to take up the case.
India’s sexual assault problem
“Considering the stringent nature of punishment provided for the offense, in the opinion of this court, stricter proof and serious allegations are required,” the judge said.
Legal reforms and more severe penalties for rape were introduced following the brutal 2012 gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi — including fast track courts to move rape cases through the justice system swiftly and an amended definition of rape to include anal and oral penetration.
But activists and lawyers say more should be done to protect women.