Kerala High Court raps state government over its stand on Malayalam actor Dileep

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KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has rapped the state government over the stand it took in the Kochi actress assault case before the Supreme Court.


Kerala government’s had filed an affidavit before the apex court and told that it will not press for framing of charges against Dileep before the trial court in the case, till his pending plea in the apex court for access to visuals of the assault is decided.

The Kerala government also had said an understanding has been arrived at with Dileep in this regard.

As a reaction, the High Court asked the state government on what basis it was done and reminded that this matter was within the purview of the court. The HC also wondered whether it was aimed at deliberately delaying the trial.

The High Court made the observations while rejecting a bail plea moved by Pradeep, who is the sixth accused in this case.

The court ruled that the plea could be filed before the trial court after completion of the deposition by the chief witnesses.

Earlier, Actor Dileep had moved to Supreme Court for seeking copies of videos related to the actress abduction case.

The case was considered by a bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Hemant Gupta.

Senior Advocate and Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had appeared for Dileep.

Mukul Rohatgi had stated, “Dileep has the right to get the copy of memory card. If he gets it, then he can prove Dileep’s innocence and he claimed that the visuals in the memory card were edited”.

“According to the charge sheet, the actress was attacked in a moving vehicle, however, the visuals of the memory card were of a stationary vehicle. Dileep’s lawyers were shown a collection of several edited clips instead of a single video, which contained audio of strangers’ voices. So to prove the innocence of Dileep, it is essential to get the copy of the memory card”, Mukul Rohatgi had said.

Earlier, the Angamali Magistrate Court had dismissed his petition seeking a copy of the digital evidence of the alleged assault. Later, on August 14, the High Court also had dismissed his petition for the same.

In his plea, he stated that he has the right to see those videos as he is claiming that the proofs have been manipulated and edited.

He also claimed that the visuals have been created intentionally to trap him and he needs the visuals to prove his innocence.

While considering his petition, the High Court of Kerala had said, the memory card did not amount to a document, which had to be supplied to the accused as per Section 207 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

Based on this, the apex court has said it will look into the Information Technology Act, 2000 to determine whether the memory card can be treated as a document and if the accused can be given a copy.

The Supreme Court has now posted the case to May 1.

Dileep, who was the 8th accused in the case was arrested on July 10, 2017, was granted bail on October 3, after 85 days in custody.

The actress was attacked on February 17, 2017, when she was on her way to Kochi from her house.

While, a gang of criminals led by Pulsar Suni, who is the prime accused, took her hostage and was allegedly molested her inside the car for two hours, took pictures and visuals of the attack.

Following, she was dropped to a director's house nearby, she had filed a complaint with the police on the very same day.

In June, last year, the actor had moved the Kerala High Court, seeking a Central Bureau Investigation into the case.

In his petition, he alleged that the Special Investigation Team of Kerala Police had carried out an unfair and biased investigation in the case.

On December 19 last year, the single bench had dismissed his petition seeking CBI probe.

Dismissing the petition, the single bench of Justice Sunil Thomas had observed that the accused cannot demand which agency should investigate the case against him.

On February 25, the High Court had allowed the petition filed by the victim for appointing a woman judge to hold the trial of the case.

The case was ordered to be transferred to Additional CBI Court in Ernakulam district, which is presided over by a woman judge.

Later, the High Court ordered the completion of trial within 6 months.

 

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