NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to cancel anticipatory bail granted to actor-producer Vijay Babu by Kerala High Court in the sexual assault case.
The Supreme Court, however, modified the part on the interrogation of the Kerala High Court order saying the petitioner Vijay Babu may be interrogated beyond July 3, 2022, if necessary.
"We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order of HC. Except, that we modify the part on interrogation. We make it clear that the petitioner may be interrogated beyond July 3, 2022, if necessary," the Court said.
During the hearing, the Court also remarked that restriction on the investigation was something not warranted.
A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari, also clarified that other terms and conditions on the basis of which anticipatory bail was granted to be complied with and Vijay Babu shall not leave the State of Kerala, not tamper with evidence or interfere with any witness in any manner.
On the oral plea of the victim's counsel, the Court also clarified that the accused shall not write anything on social media in relation to this case.
Senior Advocate, Jaideep Gupta, appearing for Kerala State, apprised the Court that after registering of FIR, the accused fled to Dubai and later when the blue corner notice was issued, he fled to Georgia which does not come under an extradition treaty. After his passport was impounded, he returned, the counsel said.
Later, he moved an anticipatory bail plea before Kerala HC which was granted with conditions.
Senior Advocate Gupta said that the accused is an influential person.
The Court remarked that the object of taking a person in custody is that he is not evading the process of laws.
Senior Advocate R Basant appearing for the victim submitted that the anticipatory bail granted to accused Vijay Babu is not correct. He questioned how could anticipatory bail be granted to a person who fled to another jurisdiction where extradition rules don't apply.
The Court was hearing Kerala state's plea against a High Court order, which granted anticipatory bail to actor-producer Vijay Babu in the sexual assault case against him on July 6.
The counsel of the rape survivor has apprised the Court that the accused has appeared on Facebook and told his client's name to the whole world.
Earlier, the Kerala High Court had granted anticipatory bail to Vijay Babu in the case. The rape survivor has challenged the High Court order before the Supreme Court and sought to cancel his bail.
On July 3, Vijay Babu appeared before probe officials for the seventh consecutive day in Ernakulam Town South Police Station for interrogation in connection with a sexual assault case registered against him. He is appearing before probe officials as per the directions of the Kerala High Court.
A lookout notice was issued against the actor as he went into hiding since the accusations surfaced. Babu then filed an application seeking anticipatory bail before the Kerala High Court, which was allowed on June 22, subject to conditions.
The High Court also confirmed the maintainability of the application for pre-arrest bail filed while the applicant is residing outside the country.
Meanwhile, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) earlier in June said that any action against actor-producer Vijay Babu will be taken "as per the judgment of the court".
Following the accusations, Vijay stepped down from the executive committee of the AMMA in May.