The Kerala High Court has put a stay on criminal proceedings against Malayalam actor Sreenath Bhasi, who was booked for using unparliamentary words during an interview by a woman journalist.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath granted the stay on Friday, after noting that the matter had been settled between the parties out of court.
The Mollywood actor was accused of using foul language while speaking to a female interviewer from the organisation ‘Behind Woods,’ during an interview for a social media platform.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against Bhasi under Sections 354A(i)(iv) (making sexually coloured remarks), 294(b) (obscene words in or near any public place) and 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
The actor had filed a petition in the High Court, seeking to quash the FIR and the proceedings against him in view of the fact that the matter has been settled out of court.
He said the female interviewer concerned has sworn in an affidavit that she has no further complaint against him. As per the woman, she decided not to take the complaint further, after Bhasi apologised to her and the channel as well.
Senior Advocate S Sreekumar, along with Advocates Martin Jose, P Prijith, Thomas P Kuruvilla, R Githesh, Ajay Ben Jose, Manjunath Menon, Sachin Jacob Ambat, Anna Linda VJ, and Harikrishnan S appeared for the actor.
The actor was arrested by Maradu police on September 26 on the basis of a complaint filed by the journalist working for an online media.
In her complaint, the woman said the alleged incident occurred on September 21, when Sreenath was taking part in a promotional interview for his new film, Chattambi.
She said when a question related to the title of the movie was rasied, Bhasi appeared offended and directed the camera person to stop recording the video. The woman alleged that Bhasi abused her and the crew after the camera was turned off.
Shortly after the video went viral, another clip of Bhasi abusing a radio jockey during a different interview with a private FM channel also surfaced on the social media.
Bhasi, in his interview with a Radio Jockey, seemed irritated by the standard of questions. However, no complaint was filed in this regard.
Later, during interview with a television channel, Bhasi denied all the allegations but expressed regret in losing his temper during interviews
Case title: Mr Sreenath Bhasi vs The State of Kerala and Another