Survivor in actor assault case moves HC

The survivor in the actor sexual assault has approached the Kerala High Court seeking to restrain the Crime Branch from filing a final report in a case relating to the conspiracy hatched by actor Dileep, who is one of the accused, and others to murder the investigation officers until  the State Forensic Science Laboratory examined the memory card kept in the custody of the trial court and the police receive a report on the examination.

In her writ petition, the survivor alleged that Dileep had directly and unlawfully influenced some of the politicians in the ruling front and attempted to derail the further probe being conducted in the case and prematurely wind up it.

She added that the lawyers of Dileep had interfered with the administration of justice by tampering with the evidence in the case and illegally influenced the witnesses.

She said that attempts by the police to investigate the role of Dileep’s lawyers had not been successful as the senior counsel and his associates had substantial clout with the ruling party.

Political interference

It was learnt that some assurances were secured by those lawyers from political authorities that further investigation would not impact them. The political and administrative higher-ups had an agenda that no investigation was carried out into the illegal access, tampering and transmission of the contents of the memory card kept in the custody of the trial court, the survivor alleged.

The government which had supported the cause of the petitioner at the initial stage had backtracked now from its Constitutional and legal commitment of conducting a free, fair and complete investigation, she said.

She also pointed out that the act of the presiding officer of the Additional Special Sessions Court was highly suspicious. Though the investigation officers had filed a petition for sending the memory card to the forensic laboratory, no steps had been taken by the sessions court to send it to the laboratory. 

Tampering of memory card

The tampering of the memory card may help the accused to take undue advantage in the further proceedings of the case. Being the victim of the crime, the petitioner had the fundamental right to get a fair trial and justice as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. she said.

The petitioner also had a fundamental right to know who had illegally accessed the memory card, tampered or transmitted the same as it was a violation of her fundamental right to privacy. It was the duty of the court to ascertain how the the memory card was tampered with while it was in the safe custody of the court and who were the culprits.

The conduct of the presiding officer in obstructing the investigation in this matter clearly showed that officer wanted to illegally help the culprits. The trial court judge’s conduct, if condoned or tolerated, would be a disgrace to the judicial system which assures equal protection under the law, she said..

The survivor pleaded for a directive to the sessions court to forward the memory card to the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram for examination.

She also sought a directive to the State Police Chief to conduct an investigation under the supervision of the High Court   into the change of the hash value of the micro SD card seized by the investigation officer on February 20, 2017, and take stringent action against the persons who were responsible for illegally accessing the card.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 6:58:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/survivor-in-actor-assault-case-moves-hc/article65453821.ece