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Rape Case Against Actor Vijay Babu: Kerala High Court To Continue Hearing On Bail Application On Monday

Upasana Sajeev
27 May 2022 4:05 PM GMT
No Bar In Considering Vijay Babu

The Kerala High Court on Friday observed that there was no bar to entertaining the application filed by Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu's plea for anticipatory bail merely on the ground that the applicant was not in India presently and was abroad.

Justice Gopinath P was satisfied that since there was a reasonable apprehension of arrest, the applicant could file for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration also filed an application seeking to be impleaded into the case.

The Additional Director General of Prosecution vehemently challenged the maintainability of the petition in light of the decision of Kerala High Court in Souda Beevi v. S.I of Police Pallickal Police Station & Anr [2011 (3) KLJ 796] and Shafi. S. M. v. State of Kerala [2020 (4) KLJ 178]. However, Advocate S Rajeev appearing for the applicant argued that the law does not provide any bar in filing the application and it was the discretion of the court to entertain the application in light of reasonable apprehension of arrest.

Yesterday, the Judge had urged the prosecution to give some time to the actor to return to India and submit himself before the Court and that this was the only reasonable way to get justice for the victim in the case.

When the matter was taken up earlier this week, the Court had orally directed the actor to make himself available to the jurisdiction of the court and to produce his return tickets to India.

As per the de facto complainant, the actor 'gained her trust by being friendly and advising her' when she was a newcomer in the industry. She added that he sexually exploited her under the guise of being a 'saviour' to her when it came to personal and professional issues.

A complaint was thereby registered against him with the Ernakulam police. Meanwhile, the actor hosted a Facebook Live and denied all allegations raised against him. However, during this live streaming, he revealed the survivor's name which led to further backlash. A separate case has been registered under IPC Section 228A (disclosure of the identity of the victim in certain offences) against the actor for revealing her identity on a public platform

Earlier this month, a lookout notice was issued against the actor who has been on the run since the accusations surfaced.

In his bail application moved through Advocate S. Rajeev, he has submitted that he did an advertisement for the Kerala Police in which the de facto complainant was his co-star. According to him, she has been contacting him frequently seeking more opportunities in the Malayalam movie industry. Although he kept explaining that he has no role in casting, the de facto complainant allegedly kept contacting him.

The petitioner has argued that the de facto complainant kept calling him and leaving him numerous messages at odd hours. He claims to have saved all these messages, photos and videos sent by the de facto complainant and that he is willing to produce the same before the investigating agency.

According to him, the de facto complainant is merely trying to blackmail him by filing this false case. He added that while the survivor may be free to raise allegations against anyone, the statutory authorities are duty-bound to ascertain the truthfulness of the allegation before tarnishing or defaming an individual based on a complaint which could not be substantiated.

The actor has submitted that he has strong apprehension of arrest since the police officers are allegedly guided by the media reports. He alleges that the officers want to arrest him due to pressure from the media and to create news for the media.

Vijay Babu has also contended that all the details of the case were available on social media and print media even before the FIS or FIR were uploaded, which according to him proves the unholy nexus between the police and the media. Accordingly, he has sought the Court to grant him protection under Section 438 CrPC.

The matter has been posted to 30th May 2022 for further hearing

Case Title: Vijay Babu v. State of Kerala & Anr.

Case No: Bail Application No: 3475 of 2022

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