The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 31 May, granted interim anticipatory bail to actor Vijay Babu till the next posting date.
On Monday, the Malayalam movie producer and actor, who has been accused of raping a woman actor, failed to return to India and appear before the Kerala High Court.
Earlier, his counsel had produced air tickets showing his return on Monday before the court while seeking anticipatory bail. He is now expected to return on Wednesday.
Vijay has been absconding ever since the police lodged a case of rape against him on 22 April based on the survivor's complaint.
The founder of the production company Friday Film House had claimed innocence and disclosed the survivor's name and identity on a Facebook live, breaking the law. Another case was, therefore, slapped on him.
As he approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail, the court said that the bail would be granted only after he produces travel tickets indicating his return to India, after which his lawyers submitted his plane tickets that showed his date of return as 30 May.
The actor-producer had alleged in his bail plea that the rape case was filed against him to blackmail him. There is a "trend" of making sexual allegations against anybody to tarnish the image of a person who is having popularity in society and for the sake of publicity, he alleged.
The actor previously planned to come down to Kerala on 30 May but cancelled this visit apprehending immediate arrest with all the activities undertaken by the investigating team, including impounding his passport.
Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas dictated the order after noting that the actor was willing to submit himself before the jurisdiction of the court.
"Apprehending arrest in a non-bailable arrest is sufficient justification to move an anticipatory bail application and when the arrest is imminent, the statute provides even the grant of an interim order," the court noted.
The matter will be taken up on Thursday.
Earlier this month, a lookout notice was issued against the actor who has been on the run since the accusations surfaced.
Meanwhile, the police questioned Babu's business partner who had reportedly invested in his business recently.
Reports suggest that a young Malayalam actor, supposedly a friend of Vijay Babu, who had delivered credit cards to the rape-accused producer, will soon be investigated by the police.
It is unsure whether Vijay Babu will extend his stay abroad.