The Kerala HC on Thursday quashed a criminal case pending before the Kalamassey Judicial First Class Magistrate Court against Malayalam actor Aju Varghese, in connection with using the name and thereby disclosing the identity of another actor in the industry who is a survivor of sexual assault.
The actor had produced an affidavit signed by the female actor which stated that she had no objection to scrapping the case slapped on Aju Varghese under section 228A of the IPC (punishment for disclosing the identity of the victim).
In the affidavit, the female actor had stayed that Aju Varghese had only â€śearnest intentions to protect my reputation and he did not have any malicious intention to tarnish my reputation.â€ť Besides, she had forgiven him, according to the affidavit.
While quashing the case, the court observed that if the victim had no objection to quashing the case and she could waive the benefits of the statutory protection if she wished to.
The young actor was arrested back on August 30, on a complaint filed by Girish Babu of Kalamassery. The arrest was initiated after the actor was questioned on July 13.
The actor was booked for disclosing the identity of the rape-survivor actor in a Facebook post supporting actor Dileep, who is one of the accused in the case. Police had also confiscated his phone at the time.
"Aju has admitted to naming the woman survivor and he had apologised at the time. We have now confiscated his iPhone. It is from this phone that he had updated the Facebook post. We have sent the phone for scientific examination to verify whether the post was uploaded from this device. After the results arrive, we will proceed to arrest Aju Varghese," the CI had told TNM after interrogating the actor.