Updated: June 22, 2022 11:25:39 am
The Kerala High Court Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to Malayalam actor Vijay Babu, who has been accused of raping a woman actor, and asked him to surrender before the investigating officer on June 27 for interrogation.
Babu had fled the country fearing arrest after the Kochi city police registered a case against him. He returned to Kochi in the last week of May, after the high court granted him protection from arrest.
Babu faces another case for revealing the identity of the woman actor on social media. The high court had earlier rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the second case after it observed that the offences against the actor were bailable.
The bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas directed the actor to surrender before the investigating officer on June 27 at 9 am for interrogation. The petitioner can be interrogated for the next seven days, added Justice Thomas.
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The court said if the police wanted to arrest the actor, he should be released on bail executing a bond for Rs 5 lakh with two solvent sureties each with the like sum. He shall not indulge in any form of attack through social media or other modes against the survivor or her family. The petitioner shall not leave Kerala without the permission of the jurisdictional court, it added.
With regard to the case registered against Vijay Babu for revealing the identity of the rape survivor, the police had charged the actor under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act. Since the offences under these sections are bailable, the court said the anticipatory bail plea was not maintainable and hence it was dismissed on June 14.
After returning from the Middle East, Babu had turned up before the police for questioning and said that he only had a consensual relationship with the woman actor. He alleged that the woman actor had turned against him after she failed to get roles in films. Earlier, while seeking anticipatory bail, Babu had furnished details of social media chats to substantiate his argument.
On April 27, the Kochi city police had registered a case against Babu on charges of sexually assaulting the woman actor. Hours after the case was registered, Babu revealed the name of the actor on social media and claimed that he was the real victim.
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