In the case of Vijay Babu v State of Kerala, a Kerala High Court bench led by Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas stated on Thursday that while crimes against women continue to rise, society’s patriarchal mindset is changing particularly when it comes men’s attitudes and their views on crimes against women.
The Court went on to say that there has been a lot of development in terms of women’s empowerment, with a large number of women now being able to talk openly about sex.
The court was hearing actor-producer Vijay Babu’s anticipatory bail application in a rape case filed against him after an actress accused him of sexually exploiting her.
Babu claims in his plea submitted through Advocate S Rajeev that the accusation against him is nothing more than an attempt to blackmail him, and that the police are directed by the extreme scrutiny and wide speculations that have been publicly reported in the media about the issue.
Advocate R Rajesh, who represents the de-facto complainant, submitted his reasons against the anticipatory bail request, highlighting the relative positions of Babu and the complainant, a new actress, in the film business, and speaking of the complainant’s subjection as a result of this power imbalance.
He further mentioned that the complainant, as a young unmarried lady, had been subjected to social ostracism and victimisation on social media and elsewhere.
Rajesh emphasised that the Court should consider the cumulative consequences of these factors through an intersectional lens, and that the evidence presented by the complainant must be viewed without bias, especially because Babu confirmed to the police that he had sexual intercourse with her.
The complaint against Babu was filed after a debutante-actress came up with #MeToo allegations that he sexually exploited her while considering her for acting opportunities.
Following the filing of a first information report (FIR), Babu went on Facebook Live to deny all claims levelled against him and, more crucially, to divulge the survivor’s name while claiming to be aware of the legal ramifications.
The Indian Penal Code’s Section 228A (disclosure of the identify of the victim in certain cases) was then used to file a separate FIR against him (IPC). The Court recently dismissed the anticipatory bail request in this case, stating that the accused offence is bailable.
On June 17, the topic will be taken up for discussion. Babu’s detention protection has been extended until then.