Kerala high court refuses bail to Kochi hotel owner in Pocso case

The single bench of Justice Gopinath examined the minor’s statement under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and other evidence produced by the Kerala police and observed that charges against them were serious.
Kochi police commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam said Hotel No 18 owner Vayalat and Thankachan would be arrested soon. (HT Archives)
Kochi police commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam said Hotel No 18 owner Vayalat and Thankachan would be arrested soon. (HT Archives)
Published on Mar 09, 2022 12:33 AM IST
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By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala high court on Monday denied anticipatory bail to Kochi-based Hotel No. 18 owner Roy J Vayalat and his accomplice Shaiju M Thankachan in a sexual assault case filed under the Prevention of children from sexual offences (Pocso) Act. The court, however, granted pre-arrest bail to the third accused, Anjali Reema Dev.

The single bench of Justice Gopinath examined the minor’s statement under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and other evidence produced by the Kerala police and observed that charges against them were serious.

Kochi police commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam said Vayalat and Thankachan would be arrested soon.

“We have already searched their hotel and houses. Both are absconding. But we have some definite leads and both will be arrested tonight,” said the commissioner.

In the first week of February, the mother of a 17-year-year-old girl had filed a complaint against the three alleging that her daughter was sexually assaulted by Vayalat after summoning them to the hotel in the guise of a modelling assignment in October last year. Both Thankachan and Anjali were present when the assault took place, she alleged in the complaint.

After the mother and daughter left the hotel, Anjali allegedly circulated the video and other photographs of the minor on social media and to others, she said in the complaint.

Many complaints of sexual abuse and drug peddling have been surfaced against the hotel after the accident. And in most cases, complainants refuse to file formal complaints fearing high connections of the accused, a police officer in the know of the matter said.

Hotel No. 18 came to the limelight after a road mishap on November 1 last year, in which three, including former Miss Kerala Ansi Kabeer (25) and runner up Anjana Shajan (26) died following a car chase by alleged drug peddler Thankachan. Their friend M Ashiq (28) died a week later. “All three would have been alive if the chase was not there,” police said in the first information report (FIR).

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Thursday, June 30, 2022