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SC declines to interfere with anticipatory bail to actor Vijay Babu in rape case

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to interfere with the anticipatory bail granted to Malayalam film producer-actor Vijay Babu in an alleged case of rape of an actor.

The top court made it clear that Babu would have to restrain from making social media posts in connection with the case and also, he cannot leave Kerala without the permission of the court.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari said Babu would not tamper with the evidence or try to interfere with any witness whatsoever, and also, not harass the victim.

The top court passed the order on petitions filed by the victim and the Kerala government challenging the Kerala High Court granting anticipatory bail to Babu.

Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing the Kerala government, contended that Babu is an influential person in the movie industry and the witness and the evidence pertaining to the case is also connected with the film industry.

Gupta added that he deleted WhatsApp messages of 15 critical days and also informed the court that the impugned order restricted investigation up to July 3, and curbed the time on interrogation. “We don’t think that grant of bail is unwarranted but restricting time for investigation is unwarranted,” said the bench.

The top court said the restrictions on proceeding with the investigation could not be sustained and modified the order of the high court. “We make it clear that the petitioner may be interrogated beyond July 3, 2022, if necessary,” it said.

Senior advocate R. Basant, representing the victim, said Babu disclosed her identity on Facebook Live to pressurise his client and he also fled to Georgia, where there is no extradition treaty, as he opposed the anticipatory bail granted to Babu.

The top court on Tuesday had agreed to hear the plea by the Kerala actor, who was allegedly raped by Babu, challenging the High Court’s order granting conditional anticipatory bail to Babu.

During the mentioning of the case on Tuesday, the top court was informed that anticipatory bail has been granted to a person, who initially ran away to Dubai and then to Georgia and came back to India only because his passport was impounded here. The Kerala government counsel contended that the high court says that he will be granted bail if he is to be arrested and it also says that his interrogation is restricted from June 27 to July 3.

Bollywood

Bombay HC extends relief to Rakhi Sawant till February 1 in case filed by Sherlyn Chopra

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday extended relief to Rakhi Sawant till February 1 in a case registered against her by another model. 

Justice MS Karnik extended order of no coercive action Ms Sawant till February 1 as the complaint sought to file an intervention application. 

A model and actor had filed an FIR against Ms Sawant alleging that the latter circulated her obscene videos to the media and made derogatory statements against her. 

Amboli police had booked Ms Sawant and her lawyer Falguni Brahmbhatt on November 8, 2022, under sections 354A (sexual harassment), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult) and 509 (insulting modesty of woman by act, word or gesture) of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 (transmission of obscene content in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

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Bollywood

ABHM activists booked for ‘Pathaan’ protest

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A case has been registered against activists of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) who protested at a cinema hall in Agra against screening of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Pathaan’.

SHO, Rakabganj, Pradeep Kumar said that the incident occurred within the limits of Rakabganj police station of Agra where a case was registered against five or six unidentified people.

Meanwhile, a Home Department spokesperson said that the state police has been directed to maintain vigil on outfits that have given a boycott call or plan to oppose the release of the movie on Wednesday.

The police have been also directed to take action against anti-social elements as well as maintain law and order.

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Bollywood

Esha Gaur makes B’wood singing debut with ‘1920: Horrors of the Heart’

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Singer Esha Gaur, who has sung title tracks for TV shows, is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Vikram Bhatts ‘1920: Horrors of the Heart’, which stars Avika Gor in the lead role.

Sharing this information, Esha acknowledged that it was her mother who discovered her singing talent when she was very young, and credits her for the way her career has shaped up.

“My biggest work achievement till date is ‘1920’,” Esha noted.

“I am from a doctor’s family; my father, brother and grandfather are doctors,” Esha said, adding: “My mother had an inclination towards singing and she figured out the singer in me when I was four-year-old, and because of her my musical journey came out so well. I have done Master’s in music.”

Esha is well-known for singing the title tracks of TV shows such as ‘Ek Aastha Aisi Bhi’ as well as ‘Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega’ in ‘Lakeerien’ and ‘Rangrezz’ in ‘Apna Time Bhi Aayega’.

Talking about her first break, she said: “I performed in the Sangam Kala group in 1994, where I won the first prize. Kalyanji-Anandji called me after looking at my performance and that was the biggest achievement in my singing career.”

Asked who her favourite singer is, she shared: “Asha Bhosle, as she is so versatile which is what I like the most. Also, I think everybody should choose to be low profile as it’s the best thing you could give yourself.”

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