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SC Upholds Vijay Babu’s Bail, Gives Cops More Time To Interrogate

The decision will allow police to further interrogate Vijay Babu, prohibiting him from leaving Kerala.

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 6 July, refused to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to rape-accused Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu by the Kerala High Court and asked him not to leave Kerala without prior permission.

A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari heard the special leave petitions filed by the Kerala government and the survivor, and modified certain bail conditions imposed on Babu by the High Court.

The Supreme Court said that he could be interrogated by the police in connection with the case after July 3, if required.

The bench also asked him not to influence any witness or tamper with any evidence and not harass the survivor through social media posts.

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Babu's Anticipatory Bail

The High Court had granted anticipatory bail to Vijay Babu on 22 June. On Tuesday, 5 July, the Supreme Court bench had agreed to hear pleas of the Kerala government and the survivor, challenging the grant of anticipatory bail to him by the High Court.

The High Court had granted bail on the condition that Vijay Babu appear before the Investigating Officer (IO) from June 27 to July 3, and that he would not be allowed to interact with the survivor or any witnesses in the case.

The other conditions imposed on him by the court were that he would not be allowed to “indulge in any form of attack through social media or other modes” against the survivor or her family, he is not allowed to leave Kerala, and a fresh passport has been issued to him, to surrender the same.

The court had further said that if the IO intends to arrest Babu, he shall be released on bail upon his executing a bond of Rs 5 lakh along with two sureties of the same amount.

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Police Oppose The Plea

The police have opposed Babu’s plea in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s conditions, saying the practice of filing applications for bail sitting outside the country should not be entertained. The court had not accepted the contention as it was of the view that an application for pre-arrest bail can be filed even by a person residing outside the country.

A police complaint was filed against Vijay Babu by a woman actor, on April 22, alleging that he subjected her to sexually assault and emotional abuse.

She also put out a social media post explaining the physical assault and sexual exploitation she had allegedly faced at the hands of Vijay Babu. Following this, Vijay Babu was absconding, but he appeared on a live Facebook video on April 26 and disclosed the identity of the survivor, in clear violation of the law.

The court had granted him interim protection from arrest on May 31 and since then it was being extended from time to time.

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