The Kerala High Court on Friday, December 22, dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by a former senior government pleader who has been accused of raping and intimidating a female client who approached him for legal advice. The court said that if the accused, PG Manu, surrenders within ten days, he shall be produced before the Magistrate Court concerned, which could then consider his bail application.
Manu has been charged with sections 376 (rape), 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides sections of the Information Technology Act. As per the complaint against him, the survivor had approached him seeking legal consultation for a case she filed in 2018, another heinous crime, which is yet to reach its conclusion in trial.
The first incident of rape allegedly happened after he called her to his office on the pretext of discussing the case and assaulted her on October 9. The complaint stated that he also threatened her against telling anyone about what happened. He attacked her twice again, on October 24 and 29, besides shooting private photos and videos of her on his phone, said the complaint.
The complainant’s lawyer Padma Lakshmi had previously told TNM that after the Aluva Rural police registered a case against him, Manu contacted the complainant’s family with a plea to settle the case and arrive at a compromise. In a recording of the call that TNM received, he can be heard saying, “Please don’t destroy my life, I am about to be selected for the judges’ panel. I will fall at your feet.” When the complainant’s suffering was pointed out to him, he claimed he will do “any compensation” that needs to be done.
After the case was filed, the office of the Advocate General of Kerala directed Manu to resign as the senior government pleader, and he submitted his resignation on November 30. Manu had reportedly been the counsel for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kerala.