The Kerala High Court has recently made a significant decision regarding the trial against actor Unni Mukundan in a case of sexual harassment. The court refused to grant a stay order, allowing the proceedings to continue. This comes after a series of events surrounding the case, including the withdrawal of a previous stay order and allegations of fabricated documents. Let’s delve into the details of this case and the recent developments.
The Sexual Harassment Allegations
The case dates back to September 2017 when a woman scriptwriter lodged a complaint against Unni Mukundan, accusing him of molesting her during a script reading session at his residence in Kochi. The incident allegedly took place in August of the same year. The actor vehemently denied the charges and filed a countercase against the survivor.
The Petition for Stay Order
Unni Mukundan’s legal counsel, Saiby Jose, a former Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association (KHCAA) president, had filed a petition seeking a stay order in the ongoing trial. Saiby claimed that the survivor had agreed to an out-of-court settlement, which the woman contested.
Withdrawal of Stay Order and Fabricated Documents
In February this year, the Kerala High Court withdrew the earlier granted stay order. This decision came after the survivor denied signing any out-of-court settlements, contradicting the claims made by Unni Mukundan’s counsel. Saiby Jose had submitted documents to the court supporting the existence of a settlement, which the woman refuted in her statement before the court. The court sternly criticized Saiby for attempting to fabricate documents and mislead the court, considering it a serious matter.
Consequences for Saiby Jose
Saiby Jose, who was previously accused of collecting money allegedly intended for bribing judges, was compelled to resign from his position as president of the KHCAA. After an investigation into the allegations, the vigilance wing of the court found some of the accusations against Saiby to be true. Furthermore, Saiby has also represented other individuals from the film industry, with one of them allegedly paying him Rs 25 lakh.
Recent Development: No Stay to Trial
On Tuesday, May 23, the Kerala High Court rejected the plea for a stay order in the trial against Unni Mukundan. The court’s decision allows the proceedings to move forward in the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Kochi.
The Kerala High Court’s refusal to grant a stay order in the trial against actor Unni Mukundan marks a significant development in the sexual harassment case. The stay order was dismissed after the survivor denied signing any out-of-court settlements, refuting the claims made by Unni Mukundan’s lawyer. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of fair and just legal proceedings in addressing allegations of sexual harassment and ensuring justice for all parties involved.