Actor Vijay Babu on Friday moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the rape case against him, reported Bar and Bench.

The case was filed on a complaint of another actor on April 22. She has alleged that Babu sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions on the pretext of offering roles in films.

On Friday, the court said that it will take up the matter after its summer vacation ends on May 17. Babu’s counsel said he was not pressing for any interim relief at the moment.

In his petition, Babu claimed that the complaint is an attempt to blackmail him. The actor said the “present trend” was that anyone can make sexual allegations against anybody for publicity and tarnishing the image of the accused person who is popular in the society, reported PTI.

“The police are also guided by media reports and they wanted to finish the chapter by arresting the petitioner for the purpose of creating news for the media due to the pressure from media people,” Babu claimed.

The actor claimed he was innocent and aggrieved by the one-sided approach of authorities to make him a “scapegoat for the purpose of news and the media”.

He argued that the complainant used to repeatedly call him and left several messages at odd hours, reported Live Law. Babu said he has saved all these messages, photos and videos sent by the complainant and was willing to submit them to the investigating agency.

Babu was initially charged under the Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).

After Babu went live on his Facebook page on Wednesday and revealed the name of the complainant, he was booked in another case. Revealing the identity of a woman who has been raped or has levelled the allegations is punishable under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code.

The police have also issued a look-out notice against the actor, who is not in the country.

The allegations

In a statement released on social media, the complainant had alleged she was physically and sexually assaulted by Babu between March and April.

“I have known him [Babu] for a few years in the industry and had worked together with him for a movie,” the actor wrote. “Through this time, he gained my trust by being friendly and advising me as I was a newcomer in the film industry with no proper guidance. He behaved like my saviour for my personal and professional problems but under the guise has sexually exploited me.”

The actor had said she was afraid to speak about the alleged assault due to Babu’s influence in the industry.

“Each time I tried to run away from this trauma, he would come after me with false promises of marriage,” she added. “I was under his control and was scared to speak up because of the clout, influence and power he wielded in the film industry.”

Meanwhile, Babu said that he had known the woman since 2018 and had given her a role in one of his films after an audition.

“She sent several messages to me saying that she was suffering from depression,” he said. “I have around 400 screenshots of those messages. I haven’t sent any messages to that woman for the last one-and-a-half years.”

Babu said he will file a defamation case against the complainant for tarnishing his image.