Kerala Court on 9th October 2020, denied anticipatory bail to dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi and two other women – Diya Sana and Sreelakshmi Arackal who were accused of assaulting a man who had published a You Tube video with vulgar comments about all of them.

The case is made by the three accused against Vijay P Nair, a YouTuber with a considerable number of followers, known for making derogatory and obscene videos about women.

The attack on Vijay Nair happened on 26th September 2020, when the accused barged into Vijay Nair’s office and slapped him, abused him and poured black oil on his face for making vulgar comments against one of them in particular and ‘feminists’ in general. The attack on him was live streamed on a social media site namely Facebook wherein the accused can be seen taking away Vijay’s laptop and mobile phone. The women stated that they were constrained to resort to the drastic step as the complaint filed before police against Vijay Nair’s video failed to elicit any response.

The women were booked by Thampanoor police on a complaint filed by Vijay Nair under Section 452, 294 B, 323, 392, 34 of IPC. Adv. K P Jayachandran, lawyer of the accused, submitted that the videos of Vijay Nair were extremely obscene and that the attack wasn’t pre-planned and there was no intention to commit theft of the laptop or mobile phone of the YouTuber. The advocate also highlighted the fact that the laptop and mobile phone were voluntarily surrendered by the accused before the police.

Additional Prosecutor N C Priyan while acknowledging that Vijay Nair’s videos crossed all limits of decency, opposed the bail applications of the women by arguing that granting them relief would send a wrong signal to the society.

Sessions judge accepted the prosecutors’ argument and stated that the petitioners committed house trespass and removed the valuable articles owned by the de-facto complainant from his possession. Granting anticipatory bail in these circumstances to the petitioners would invoke Section 438 CrPC and give a wrong message to the society that anybody can resort to such vandalism so as to oppress their opponents. That apart from that, the principle of ‘might is right’ will prevail in the society, which would only bring insecurity to the common man.

The court was of the view that attack was pre-planned, and the accused committed house trespass with a clear intention to hurt the YouTuber. Vijay Nair was also arrested in another FIR for offences under the Information Technology Act, 2000, for posting obscene videos and is under custody at present.

The Hon’ble Additional Sessions Court, Thiruvanthapura in the order observed that, “A civilized society is expected to obey the rule of law of the country so as to maintain peace, law and order and any attack to the said fabric is actionable and cannot be viewed lightly. No one can take law into their hands on the strength of man power or muscle power.” Therefore, the petitions filed by the three accused were rejected and dismissed.

 

Order Link – Bhagyalaxmi v. State of Kerala

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