Kerala HC grants pre-arrest bail to rape accused actor-producer Vijay Babu till June 2
While issuing the interim order on the anticipatory bail plea, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas directed the police and the Bureau of Immigration not to arrest the petitioner till the next posting date.
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted interim pre-arrest bail till June 2 to Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu, accused in a rape case. He is presently in Dubai and booked his ticket to return to Kerala on June 1. Vijay Babu's counsel also produced a copy of the air ticket on Tuesday.
While issuing the interim order on the anticipatory bail plea, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas directed the police and the Bureau of Immigration not to arrest the petitioner till the next posting date. The petitioner is directed to appear before the investigation officer immediately on arrival in the country and mark his presence. The investigating officer will be free to interrogate the petitioner in the meantime, the court held.
The counsel for Vijay Babu submitted that the petitioner has been willing to come within the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court and face investigation provided interim protection is granted. He also submitted that he had even booked a ticket to come on May 30. However, fearing immediate arrest at the Airport itself, he has postponed his travel.
Opposing the plea for interim protection, the prosecution submitted that the petitioner remains elusive from the jurisdiction of the court only because of the impounding of his passport. The petitioner's presence outside the country does not entitle him to maintain this bail plea.
The court also allowed the plea of the victim to implead in the case. The counsel for the victim argued that the petitioner has not been bonafide in the application and had not even divulged his whereabouts at the time of filing the bail application.
"I am of the view for the time being that merely because the petitioner is outside the country, that itself cannot deprive his right to have anticipatory bail in the case," observed the court.
The essential requirement of every investigation is that the accused must be within its control for the purpose of carrying out an effective and fair probe. "Apprehending arrest in a non-bailable offence 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."
According to the counsel for Vijay Babu, the police is intending to arrest him from the moment he lands at the airport.
"In view of those submissions, considering the interest of the victim, the investigation as well as the interest of the petitioner, it is necessary that he be protected from arrest for a limited period of time. Accordingly, I direct the police not to arrest the petitioner until the next posting date of the case," the court held.