The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi and women activists Diya Sana and Sreelakshmi Arakkal, all accused in a case related to assaulting YouTuber Vijay P. Nair in Thiruvananthapuram.
The prosecution case was that on September 26, Bhagyalakshmi and the other two accused trespassed into the lodge of the YouTuber and assaulted him for making derogatory and sleazy remarks against women on his channel. The incident was live-streamed on the Facebook of one of the accused.
Allowing the anticipatory bail petition filed by Bhagyalakshmi and others, Justice Ashok Menon observed that though the court did not approve of vigilantism shown by the petitioners in taking law into their hands, it did not feel it necessary to incarcerate them just for the purpose of giving them a taste of imprisonment as a lesson.
‘No criminal antecedents’
The petitioners were women without any criminal antecedents. The fact that the applicants had, soon after the incident appeared before the police and surrendered the articles which they had allegedly stolen was an indication that they were willing to cooperate with the investigation and were not likely to flee from justice. Besides, their custodial interrogation was not necessary since nothing had to be discovered from them.
Disapproving of vigilantism, the judge observed that vigilantism had no place in a civilised society. If people were permitted to take law into their hands and did what they believe to be right and justified, there would be a chaotic situation and would have the effect of undermining the legal and formal institutions of the State and altering the Constitutional order.
Such extra-judicial acts under the guise of protection of law definitely required to be kept in check as otherwise it would lead to “rising of anarchy, lawlessness and mobocracy,” observed the court.
It ordered that the petitioners be released on bail on their executing a bond for ₹50,000 each with two solvent sureties for the like amount each in the event of their arrest.