The Kerala High Court said that the bail was granted subject to the condition of limited custody to the investigating officer, and has been summoned for interrogation by police.

Actor-producer Vijay Babu, accused in a rape caseVijay Babu
news Court Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 10:39

The Kerala High Court, on Wednesday, June 22, granted anticipatory bail to rape accused Vijay Babu, but with conditions. Vijay Babu, an actor-producer, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman actor. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas in the order has granted anticipatory bail to Vijay Babu under the condition that he must appear before the police for investigation into the case. Vijay Babu has been asked to surrender before the Investigation Officer on June 27 and the police has been granted time to interrogate him — seven days between June 27 and July 3, for ten hours, from 9 am to 7 pm.

Vijay Babu has also been directed to appear for investigation as and when called for by the Investigation Officer. The court has barred Vijay Babu from calling or interacting with the survivor or any witnesses in the case. “He shall not indulge in any form of attack through social media or other modes against the victim or her family. He shall not leave the state of Kerala without prior permission of jurisdictional court and shall cooperate with the investigation,” the court said. He has also been barred from leaving Kerala without informing the court.

TNM had reported how several discrepancies emerged between his court testimony and his earlier claims when the court was hearing his plea. While he had earlier said that he could provide messages between him and the survivor from months prior to the case, he later told the court that he only had messages from March 30. The prosecution suspected that the WhatsApp chats that Vijay produced before court were manipulated.

TNM has also learnt that a campaign appears to be underway to malign the survivor. She has reportedly been losing work opportunities at the behest of Vijay Babu and other influential members of the film industry. Several YouTube videos, made by supporters of Vijay Babu, calling the survivor's case ‘fake’ have also sprouted up.

Read: Vijay Babu's court testimony contradicts his own claims in rape case

A police complaint was filed against Vijay Babu by a woman actor, on April 22, alleging that he subjected her to sexually assault and emotional abuse. She also put out a social media post explaining the physical assault and sexual exploitation she had allegedly faced at the hands of Vijay Babu.

Following this, Vijay Babu went absconding, but he appeared on a live Facebook video on April 26 and disclosed the identity of the survivor, in clear violation of the law. "I respect the law of the land but here I am the victim and my name has come out. So why shouldn't the other party's name come out too," he said. The survivor also alleged that she was offered Rs 1 crore to withdraw the case.

The court had earlier refused to grant him anticipatory bail until he lands in India, following which his lawyers, on May 24, produced his travel tickets indicating his return to India on May 30. The court then heard his bail plea and granted interim pre-arrest bail. However, he failed to reach on the said date and arrived on June 1 instead. He was later granted interim pre-arrest bail to Vijay Babu, after which the actor-producer returned to India from Dubai. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, who was hearing the case, said that Vijay would not return to India if the bail was not granted, and that he did not appreciate that the actor fled the country as soon as the rape case was filed against him. 

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