Actor moves HC again for change of court

The survivor in the actor rape case has moved the Kerala High Court seeking transfer of the case back to the Special Court from the District and Sessions Court.

The case was recently transferred from the CBI 3 Court, Ernakulam, to the District and Sessions Court, Ernakulam, where earlier CBI judge Honey M. Varghese, who heard the case, continued to try the case in her capacity as the sessions judge. Ms. Varghese was recently promoted as the Sessions Court judge.

In her petition, the woman actor sought a change of court stating that she had lost faith in the trial court judge. She challenged the legality of the transfer of the case from the CBI Court to the Sessions Court by way of an administrative order.

The transfer of the case from the CBI Court to the Sessions Court was without jurisdiction and against the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, she argued.

The woman actor is understood to have requested the High Court to hold the proceedings in the case in-camera. She had also sought to keep the contents of her petition out of public domain.

Justice Kauser Edappagath, who considered the case on Friday, ordered issuing of notice to the State government and the other accused in the case. The court will again consider the case on August 19.

In her petition, the woman actor sought the Kerala High Court to invoke its powers under Section 407 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to order transfer of the trial to any other criminal court of equal or superior jurisdiction.

Incidentally, the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court had earlier rejected the plea of the survivor for change of court but the petitioner cited new developments to ask for a transfer alleging that the present situation warranted a transfer for which the victim claimed to have produced proof that was kept confidential.

The actor had also moved the Sessions Court challenging its authority to consider the case. The Sessions Court, while hearing the arguments in the case on Thursday, had indicated that the case was recalled from the CBI Court and posted in the Sessions Court on orders from the Kerala High Court. The High Court had issued an office memorandum to recall the case and post it to the Sessions Court. It had also ordered the records in the case to be transferred to the Sessions Court from the CBI court.

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Printable version | Aug 26, 2022 1:52:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/actor-moves-hc-again-for-change-of-court/article65762483.ece