Actor rape case trial shifted to sessions court

Parties in the trial of the actor rape, including the prosecution lawyers and the counsel for the accused, will have to appear before the Principal District and Sessions Court, Ernakulam, on Saturday for the continuation of the proceedings.

The District and Sessions Court issued notices to the parties in this regard on Wednesday. Orders were also issued to transfer the files of the case from the CBI Special Court to the sessions court. Till now, the trial was conducted at the CBI Special Court, which was functioning from the District Court Annex at Kaloor.

The District and Sessions Judge initiated the steps for sending notices to the parties and transferring the files following an office memorandum issued by the Kerala High Court which directed the judicial officer to withdraw the case from the CBI Special Court and post it to the sessions court.

The Hindu had earlier reported that the trial court considering the case will be changed, though the judge considering the case will not be shifted.

Honey M. Varghese, CBI Special Judge, who earlier conducted the trial, will continue to hear the case in her capacity as Principal District and Sessions Judge. Ms. Varghese, who was earlier promoted as Principal Sessions Judge, was holding additional charge of the CBI court. The plea of the survivor for changing the judge was declined by the High Court and the Supreme Court earlier.

On Thursday, Ms. Varghese relinquished her responsibility as CBI Judge and K K. Balakrishnan succeeded her as CBI judge. He will conduct the trial of the CBI cases, including the Fazal murder case and Kathiroor Manoj murder case, in which some prominent CPI(M) activists and leaders have been arraigned as accused.

Meanwhile, the survivor in the case has approached the Registrar of the High Court requesting not to transfer the trial to the sessions court fearing that she may not get justice from the woman judge. Incidentally, the High Court had earlier assigned the trial to the woman judge on her plea.

The survivor also requested the Registrar to transfer the trial to any other woman judge in Ernakulam or a male judge, who assumed the charge of the CBI Special Court.

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Printable version | Sep 10, 2022 1:00:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/actor-rape-case-trial-shifted-to-sessions-court/article65727062.ece