A woman who accused Malayalam actor and producer Vijay Babu of raping her has moved the Supreme Court challenging anticipatory bail granted to him, Live Law reported on Saturday.
The Kerala High Court had granted anticipatory bail to Babu on June 22 on the condition that he must appear before the police on June 27 at 9 am for interrogation. It had allowed the police to interrogate him every day till July 3 between 9 am and 7 pm.
Babu had appeared before the police on June 27. The police recorded his arrest but did not take him into custody due to the anticipatory bail order, according to Onmanorama.
The complainant, who is also an actor, said in her petition before the Supreme Court that Babu had challenged the rule of law by fleeing the country after the case was registered and returned only after he got anticipatory bail, The Hindu reported. Babu had gone to Dubai after the first information against him was registered.
The complainant also said that the case raised the question of whether a court could grant bail to an absconding accused person on the grounds that it would allow him to return and join the investigation. She also alleged that Babu had used influence in the film industry to put pressure on her to not pursue the case.
The complainant argued that the accused actor could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
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 said she was afraid to speak about the alleged assault due to Babu’s influence in the industry.
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.