The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, May 23, refused to stay the proceedings of trial against actor Unni Mukundan in a case of sexual harassment. The actor had filed a petition for stay order in the case in which he is accused of sexual harassment of a woman scriptwriter in Kochi in 2017. The trail is pending at the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Kochi. The dismissal of the stay was passed by the Kerala High Court judge K Babu, reports Live Law.
In February this year, the Kerala High Court had withdrawn the stay order in the case, after the survivor woman denied signing any out-of-court settlements as claimed by Unni Mukundan’s counsel. The actor was represented by lawyer Saiby Jose, former president of the Kerala High Court Advocates' Association (KHCAA). It was reported that Saiby had submitted documents to the court claiming that the survivor woman had agreed to an out of court settlement. The woman denied this before the court and gave her statement. The court called it a serious issue and came down heavily on Advocate Saiby for attempting to fabricate documents and misleading the court.
Saiby, who was earlier accused of collecting money allegedly claiming to bribe judges, had to quit his post as president of the KHCAA. After probing the allegations, the vigilance wing of the court had found some of these to be true. Saiby has also represented others from the film industry, one of them allegedly paying him Rs 25 lakh.
The sexual harassment case against Unni Mukundan was registered in September 2017 after the survivor woman lodged a complaint, accusing him of molesting her at his residence during a script reading in August. The actor then alleged that it was a false charge and filed another case against her.