A Kerala police officer has been arrested in Kochi after being accused of blackmailing and sexually assaulting a woman for one year. The accused has been identified as Babu Mathew, who held charge as the additional Sub Inspector at the Ernakulam Central Police station. After the complainant approached the Mulanthuruthy police station in September, a complaint was registered under section 376 (being a police officer and committing rape) of the Indian Penal Code, which attracts a minimum of seven years in prison and a fine.
“The accused Sub Inspector Babu Mathew had approached a lower court for anticipatory bail last month. However, his bail plea was rejected by the lower court. Following this, he moved the Kerala High Court with an anticipatory bail plea. Later on, he withdrew the application from the High Court and surrendered before the police station on Friday (October 2),” the Station House Officer of the Mulanthuruthy police station told TNM.
According to the complaint, the accused came in contact with the woman while on patrol duty. She was asked to pay a fine for a traffic offence. The duo reportedly got close to each other after this following which the accused officer would visit her house often. The complaint states that the accused sexually assaulted the woman during one house visit, following which he continued to threaten to expose the incident to the public.
The complainant has also added that she was being blackmailed and sexually abused for a year now.
According to reports, the woman had also given a confidential statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or CrPC. According to this provision, any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate, whether or not he or she holds the jurisdiction in the case, may record the confession or statement made in the course of an investigation.
Any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate may, whether or not he has jurisdiction in the case, record any confession or statement made to him in the course of an investigation under this Chapter or under any other law for the time being in force, or at any time afterwards before the commencement of the inquiry or trial: Provided that no confession shall be recorded by a police officer on whom any power of a Magistrate has been conferred under any law for the time being in force.
The Mulanthuruthy police on Friday and was taken to a COVID-19 observation centre. On Saturday, he was remanded to the Kakkanad sub jail, according to the Mulanthuruthy Station House Officer.