Kochi-based makeup artist Anez Ansari has been released on bail by HC in sexual harassment case

Kochi: Famous Kochi-based make-up artist Anez Anzare (37), who has been accused of sexually harassing several of his clients, was released on bail by the High Court on Monday.

Judge Gopinath P granted bail to Anez in four different cases against him, including the offenses of sexual harassment and indecent exposure of women, saying his questioning in custody was unnecessary.

The court granted him early bail on the condition that he would execute separate sureties, in each case, of Rs 1 lakh with two solvent sureties each for the same sum, he will co-operate with the investigation in every way , will appear before the investigator, when called upon to do so, shall not attempt to contact complainants, interfere with the investigation or intimidate witnesses.

In three of the cases, the plaintiffs had accused Anez of harassing and sexually assaulting them on their wedding day when they came to his studio to do their makeup.

In the fourth case, the woman, who was a former employee of the makeup artist, accused him of inappropriately touching and groping her under the guise of showing her around the studio.

Charges are a ploy to get Anez out of business, lawyer says

Anez’s lawyer had opposed the allegations, saying they were groundless, false and that three of them related to the years 2015 and 2016 and were therefore time-barred.

His lawyer also claimed the charges were made to put him out of business and allegedly at the instigation of a Priya, who was previously associated with the make-up artist.

The attorney also claimed the allegations surfaced immediately after a rape allegation was made against a tattoo artist, which attracted media attention.

The prosecution objected to awarding any relief to the make-up artist, saying multiple people, who are unrelated to each other, raised the allegations and therefore cannot be considered as a campaign to drive the accused out of his business. .

The prosecutor had argued that given the nature of the allegations, questioning the accused in custody was absolutely necessary.

However, the court stated that in view of the principles regarding bail established in various cases and given the nature of the allegations against the defendant, early bail may be granted in all cases registered against him under terms.

The court said that although the allegations are serious, the maximum sentence for the offenses he was charged with was seven years.

(With PTI entries)

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