WhatsApp messages, telephone conversations and a flight ticket – these were the pieces of evidence that Malayalam film producer Vaishak Rajan, accused of allegedly raping an actor in 2017, submitted before the Ernakulam Sessions Court. Convinced by the evidence, the judge granted the producer anticipatory bail.
On December 29, 2018, an actor had filed a complaint at the Ernakulam Town North Police Station, and a case was registered against Vaishak under Section 376 (Punishment for Rape) for allegedly raping the woman after he lured her to a flat in Kathrikadavu in Ernakulam under the pretext of offering her a role in a film. However, the latest report by television channel Manorama News indicates that the actor had allegedly blackmailed the producer, before and after filing the case, demanding Rs 6 crore to withdraw the case.
In the anticipatory bail application, Vaishak stated that the actor had already started demanding money before filing the case. He also submitted a CD containing the telephonic conversation and a series of WhatsApp messages between the two, in addition to a flight ticket that showed that the producer was not in India at the time of the said incident. Though the magistrate has given the order based on these conversations, it is unclear if the audio evidence has been subjected to any forensic testing and whether it's proven that the voice indeed belongs to the woman who filed the complaint.
After analysing the WhatsApp messages, Sessions Judge Kausar Edappagath observed that the actor filed the complaint almost one-and-a-half years after the alleged assault and that during the period, the two had established a close relationship as evident through the WhatsApp messages.
Vaishak also produced the flight ticket to prove that he was not in India at the time of the alleged assault. Per the evidence, the judge observed that Vaishak flew to Sharjah on April 7, 2017, while the incident, as mentioned in the complaint, took place on April 10, 2017.
In one of the audio conversations, allegedly between the woman and Vaishak, accessed and released by Manorama, there was no mention of “cash” or “rupees”. She can be heard saying “the film”, probably referring to the film Vaishak had promised to cast her in. The complainant can be heard warning Vaishak if he delayed in giving her “the film”.
As the complainant threatened and intimidated the petitioner, he agreed to pay the amount, the court observed. The Sessions judged viewed that the allegations filed by the complainant cannot be believed, said the judgement.
When TNM contacted Ernakulam North Town Police Station, an officer said since the producer received anticipatory bail on January 10, the case has been transferred to the Crime Detachment unit in Ernakulam. “Until then, we did not receive any audio clip or other evidence in the case. We learned about these audio clips and other evidence after the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea, through the media,” an officer told TNM.
Biji George, ACP of the Crime Branch, is heading the investigation. Despite repeated attempts, he could not be reached.
Under the production company ‘Vaishaka Cynyma’, Vaishak Rajan has produced movies such as Role Models (2017), Welcome to Central Jail (2016) and Padmasree Bharat Dr Saroj Kumar (2012). The last movie that he produced was Kunchacko Boban-starrer Johny Johny Yes Appa.