A case was filed against BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi on Friday, alleging that he inappropriately behaved with a female journalist during a press conference in Kozhikode. Gopi moved the Kerala high court to request anticipatory bail.
In order to obtain guidance on the matter, Justice C Pratheep Kumar rescheduled the bail plea hearing for the first week of January.
Gopi was arrested on October 28 by the Nadakkavu police in Kozhikode under section 354 (A)(1)(i) of the IPC for physical contact and advances involving unwanted and explicit sexual overtures. Gopi has also starred in over 250 Malayalam films in leading roles. Later, the case was changed to section 354 of the IPC, which deals with assault or using criminal force to violate a woman’s modesty.
A female journalist’s complaint, alleging that the actor-politician touched her inappropriately during a press briefing, led to the actor-politician’s booking. Subsequently, the BJP leader stated that he touched the woman’s shoulder out of affection and promised to apologize if it caused her any mental distress.
The actor was then questioned about the incident for about two hours at the Nadakkavu police station on November 15. In a show of support, dozens of party employees went with him to the station.
The BJP leader claimed in his bail request that he was not notified by the police about the charge modification in the FIR and that it was not presented to the relevant trial court either. He claimed that the accusations leveled against him were intended to damage his reputation.