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Supreme Court To Hear Tomorrow Pleas By State And Survivor Challenging Order Granting Anticipatory Bail To Actor Vijay Babu In Rape Case

5 July 2022 6:02 AM GMT
Supreme Court To Hear Tomorrow Pleas By State And Survivor Challenging Order Granting Anticipatory Bail To Actor Vijay Babu In Rape Case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on Wednesday the plea of a Kerala actor who was allegedly raped by Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu challenging the Kerala High Court's decision granting conditional anticipatory bail to the actor.

The matter was mentioned before the vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and J. K. Maheshwari by both the state of Kerala and the complainant.
Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta for the state submitted, "I am mentioning this for listing- it is a matter in which anticipatory bail has been granted to a person who initially ran away to Dubai and then to Georgia and came back to India only because his passport was impounded here. The order says that he will be granted bail if he is to be arrested and it also says that his interrogation is restricted from 27th of June to 3rd of July. This is the urgency. If your lordships will kindly consider listing this matter at the earliest"
The counsel for the complainant urged, "Mr. Gupta is for the state, I am for the rape survivor in the same matter. After that, he (Babu) has come on Facebook live and mentioned my name to the whole world and is putting pressure that I withdraw the complaint. Each day spent out is a risk to me. I request this matter to be listed urgently"
In her petition moved through Advocate Raghenth Basant, she has submitted that the case raises an important issue of whether an absconding accused can be granted anticipatory bail on the ground that it will prompt him to come out of hiding and join the investigation.

The complainant has also argued that Babu is challenging the rule of law by fleeing the country after the crime was registered and returning only after securing interim pre-arrest bail. The petition also contended that the order paves the way for all rich and influential persons accused of serious offences to have their custodial interrogation be made dispensable leading to a travesty of justice.

It was argued that the bail had to be set aside so the police can carry out a free and fair probe in the matter while adding that the actor had pressured the survivor against pursuing the case using his influence in the industry. The plea also contended that the accused may tamper with evidence and influence witnesses in the case.

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 was 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.

A lookout notice was issued against the actor as he went into hiding since the accusations surfaced. Babu then filed an application seeking anticipatory bail before the Kerala High Court, which was allowed on June 22, subject to conditions. The High Court had also confirmed the maintainability of the application for pre-arrest bail filed while the applicant is residing outside the country.

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