The Kerala High Court on Friday extended till Monday, the interim anticipatory bail granted to actor-producer Vijay Babu in the case where an actress accused him of sexually exploiting her.
Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas extended the interim bail when he was informed that the DGP was indisposed and required time to appear in the case.
Last week, the actor had secured interim pre-arrest bail noting that merely because he was outside the country was not by itself a ground to not consider his bail application. This was extended by the Judge upon being informed that Vijay Babu had returned to India and had appeared before the Police for interrogation. The actor was, however, directed to cooperate with the investigation and to refrain from tampering with the probe.
The Court had part-heard the matter earlier, and the Bureau of Immigration had also filed an application seeking to be impleaded into the case. The Judge had also 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. It had also orally directed the actor to make himself available to the jurisdiction of the court.
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
In his bail application moved through Advocate S. Rajeev, he has submitted that 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.
Case Title: Vijay Babu v. State of Kerala & Anr.