Kerala High Court dismisses dancer Sathyabhama’s anticipatory bail plea

Court directs her to surrender in a week before special court for trial of offences under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Nedumangad; court says it did not find material warranting custodial interrogation of appellant

Published - June 10, 2024 07:18 pm IST - KOCHI

The Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed a plea by dancer Kalamandalam Sathyabhama seeking anticipatory bail in a case registered against her for allegedly making casteist remarks against dancer RLV Ramakrishnan during an interview on a YouTube channel.

Justice K. Babu while rejecting her appeal also directed her to surrender in a week before the special court for the trial of offences under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)Act, Nedumangad, Thiruvananthapuram.

The court also ordered that on her surrender if the appellant files an application seeking regular bail, the special court shall dispose of the application on the same day itself. The court also added that it did not find material warranting the custodial interrogation of the appellant. The appellant is a woman and there is no chance for her to abscond.

Intentionally insulted

Dismissing her appeal challenging the order of the special court rejecting her plea for anticipatory bail in the case, the court observed that the prosecution could prima facie establish that the appellant intentionally insulted the de facto complainant (Mr. Ramakrishnan) with intent to humiliate him in public view on account of his belonging to the Scheduled Castes community. Therefore, the bar under section 18 of the SC/ST Act on granting anticipatory bail is applicable to the present facts, and hence the application seeking anticipatory bail is not maintainable.

The court observed that it was true that the appellant has not used the name of the de facto complainant in her remarks. However, “the remarks made by her are sufficient to infer that she intended the de facto complainant and that she was aware that those who viewed the video could easily understand that she had intended the de facto complainant. The appellant made a conscious attempt to make it appear that she intended none other than the de facto complainant. The video clearly exposes humiliatory statements. The remarks or allegations made by the appellant are sufficient to cause extreme humiliation to the de facto complainant”.

Rejecting her another contention that the alleged offence was not committed in public view as the interview was held within the four walls of her residence, the court pointed out that the video containing the interview was uploaded on YouTube and aired on online channels. The uploaded content can be viewed or heard by the members of the public, at any time, as if they were present either viewing or hearing it not only at the time it was telecast but even when the programme is accessed.

The court emphasised that unless the provisions of the Act are enforced in their true letter and spirit, with utmost earnestness, the dream and ideal of a casteless society will remain only a dream.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.