The Kerala High Court on Thursday was informed that Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu was cooperating with the police investigation since his return to India on 1 June.
Vijay returned from Dubai on Wednesday, a day after he was granted interim protection from arrest by the court. The actor-producer is accused of raping a female actor and is also booked for publicly revealing her identity on social media. Vijay had been absconding ever since the police lodged a case of rape against him on 22 April based on the survivor's complaint.
When the court was considering his plea for anticipatory bail, the state submitted that the accused appeared before the investigating officer on 1 June.
Babu Not To Interact With Survivor, Orders Court
The court ordered Babu not to attempt to influence the witnesses or interact with the survivor under any circumstances. He is not allowed to interact with her even on social media, the court said.
Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas on Thursday extended the interim pre-arrest bail granted to the accused till next Tuesday while directing him to cooperate with the investigation and refrain from tampering with the probe.
The matter has been posted to 7 June 2022 for further hearing.
Earlier this month, a lookout notice was issued against the actor-producer.
Vijay previously planned to come down to Kerala on 30 May but cancelled this visit fearing immediate arrest owing to the activities undertaken by the investigating team, including impounding his passport.
The judge had urged the prosecution to give some time to the actor to return to India and submit himself before the court and that this was the only reasonable way to get justice for the victim in the case.
Upon his arrival at the Kochi airport, Vijay told reporters confidently that he would cooperate with the police and that truth would prevail. He then left for a temple at Desam and offered prayers with his wife.
Vijay Babu Questioned for 9 Hours on Day 1
Meanwhile, the police on Wednesday interrogated Vijay for nine hours at the Ernakulam South police station. He was summoned again at 9 am on Thursday for further questioning.
The police also questioned Vijay's business partner who reportedly invested in his business recently.
Reports suggest that a young Malayalam actor, supposedly a friend of Vijay, who had delivered credit cards to the rape-accused producer, will soon be investigated by the police.
Sources told The Quint that Vijay reportedly reiterated that the charges against him were false and that he was being framed.
Vijay Babu, the founder of the production company Friday Film House, had cast the survivor in one of his films. 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 had alleged.