The Kerala High Court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail with conditions to Malayalam actor and producer Vijay Babu in a rape case till June 26, The Indian Express reported. Babu has been accused of raping an actor after promising her roles in films.
Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas granted bail to Babu on the condition that he must appear before the police on June 27 at 9 am for interrogation. The police can interrogate Babu every day till July 3 from 9 am to 7 pm, according to The News Minute.
The court has also barred Babu from calling or interacting with the complainant or any witnesses in the case.
“He [Babu] shall not indulge in any form of attack through social media or other modes against the victim or her family.” the court said. “He shall not leave the state of Kerala without prior permission of the jurisdictional court and shall cooperate with the investigation.”
The 46-year-old actor was in Dubai when the police filed a case against him in April. He had returned to Kochi on June 1 and had appeared before the police for questioning.
Babu claimed that he had a consensual physical relationship with the woman and she levelled the allegations after she was denied a role in his movie.
Babu was initially charged under Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. Another case was lodged against the actor after he went live on Facebook on April 26 and revealed the name of the complainant.
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.
In a statement released on social media, the complainant 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 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 said. “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.”