Sonal Bhargava | Prabhat Bandhulya
Case Title: Vijay Babu v State of Kerala
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail to Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu in a rape case registered against him after an actress accused him of sexually exploiting her. The actor was instructed to appear before the investigating officer on June 27 at 9 am for questioning by Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, who also issued the order. The actor may be questioned for the following seven days, from June 27 to July 3, from 9 am to 6 pm daily, the court made plain. The court also stated that the petitioner shall be in detention until the time necessary to facilitate the investigation's requirements. The petitioner should be granted bail after posting a bond in the amount of Rs. 5 lakh if the investigating officer had planned to arrest him. The petitioner must also appear before the investigating officer when requested, among other requirements for the anticipatory bail. The victim or any of the witnesses should not be approached or interacted with by him. He must refrain from attacking the victim or her family on social media in any way, and he must not leave Kerala without the court's prior approval. By alleging that he had sexually assaulted her under duress, the petitioner claimed the victim was trying to extort money from him. The actor claims that the complainant used to call him at strange times and text him regularly. She maintained her relationship with him on a regular basis in order to increase her opportunities in the film business. He said that he had not engaged in any coercive sexual behaviour. The court had granted him interim protection from arrest on May 31, and since then, it has been extended from time to time.