The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to cancel the anticipatory bail granted by the Kerala High Court to Malayalam actor Vijay Babu in a rape case, Live Law reported.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari of the Supreme Court said they will not interfere with the bail order. However, the judges quashed another order passed by the High Court that barred the police from interrogating Babu in the case after July 3.
The interim bail order was passed after Babu filed a plea seeking the relief. Prior to that, he went absconding and had broadcast a Facebook Live video refuting the allegations against him, Bar and Bench reported.
While granting him interim bail, the High Court had asked the actor to surrender before the investigating officer on June 27 and directed the police to conclude questioning before July 3.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Senior Advocate R Basant, appearing for the complainant, told the Supreme Court that his client was new to the film industry and would not level allegations against a person of Babu’s stature unless they were true, Live Law reported.
He also contended that Babu had revealed the identity of the complainant in the Facebook Live to pressurise her.
It is a crime to print, publish or disclose any details of a raped person’s identity under Indian Penal Code 228A.
Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the State, also opposed the interim bail. He argued that Babu being an influential person could have a bearing on the witnesses from the Malayalam film industry.
“Existence of FIR [first information report] does not restrict him from further committing offence,” Gupta submitted. “...His propensity to destroy evidence is made out in this case. He deleted Whatsapp messages of 15 critical days.”
The judges directed Babu not to influence any witness or tamper with any evidence and not harass the complainant with any social media posts.