The high profile alleged rape case of Malayalam Producer and Actor Vijay Babu saw some balanced comments from the top court on Wednesday.
Supreme Court refused to interfere with the anticipatory bail granted to Vijay Babu, while laying conditions that he shall not leave the State of Kerala without prior permission of the court. The court has also restrained him from making social media posts in connection with the case.
Vijay Babu has been accused of rape by a female actor accusing him of luring her into sexual relationship on pretext of promising marriage. It must be noted that Vijay Babu is a married man and the complainant was fully aware of the same.
Bail Granted By Kerala High Court
On June 22, Vijay Babu was granted bail by Kerala High Court in the said matter, while pointing out below critical observations. The bail order was challenged by the complainant.
Arguments By Complainant
As reported by Livelaw, Senior Advocate R Basant appearing for the alleged victim submitted that the woman is in her early 20s and has just entered the film industry. Naturally, she would not level such allegations against a powerful person, unless they are true.
He also emphasized that Vijay Babu disclosed her identity on Facebook Live in order to “pressurize” her. He added that the actor fled to Georgia, where there is no extradition treaty. Basant questioned,
Court gives him initial protection. Can a person after registration of FIR run to a country and then says give me protection?
Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta appearing for the State submitted that Vijay Babu is an influential person in the movie industry and the witness and evidence pertaining to the case also relates to the said industry. Gupta told court,
Existence of FIR does not restrict him from further committing offence. He is very very influential person in movie industry and the evidence and witness comes out of movie industry. His propensity to destroy evidence is made out in this case. He deleted Whatsapp messages of 15 critical days.
Gupta also informed the Court that the impugned order restricted investigation upto 3rd July and curbed the time spent on interrogation.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari opined that the restrictions on proceeding with the investigation could not be sustained and accordingly modified the High Court’s order. The apex court said,
We make it clear that the petitioner may be interrogated beyond July 3, 2022, if necessary.
The Court also added,
Respondent shall not tamper with evidence or try to interfere with any witness whatsoever. Respondent shall not harass the prime respondent (victim).
On grant of bail, Supreme Court said,
We don’t think that grant of bail is unwarranted but restricting time for investigation is unwarranted.
However, on the issue of tampering evidence, the Bench was of the view that since the Police has his mobile, they can retrieve it. It added,
Both (Vijay Babu and the victim) had deleted the messages so there was some mutual understanding.
When Gupta argued that Vijay Babu had deleted messages subsequently, the Court said,
Deleting the messages earlier or subsequently there was no direction on him. But can an accused be forced to give evidence against himself?Object of arrest is to not put pressure and its only to ensure that he doesn’t evade the process of law. When its deprivation of person’s personal liberty we take a different view.
Gupta then argued that in the instant case, Presumption as to absence of consent in prosecutions for rape under Section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act would apply.
Expressing its disagreement, the Bench asked,
Can there be presumption when there is admitted intimate relationship and promise to marry, where the respondent was already a married man and he was not even free to marry?
"Don't Think Grant Of Bail Is Unwarranted" | Supreme Court On #VijayBabu's Alleged Rape On Pretext Of Marriage Case
SC: "There is admitted intimate relationship & promise to marry, where the respondent (Babu) was already married & not even free to marry"https://t.co/oW8uZzu2PW
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) July 6, 2022
Vijay Babu Pre-Arrest Bail Granted By Kerala HC | Discussion With Activist Mithun Vijay Kumar
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