Kerala

Actor rape case: court seeks six more months to complete trial

The Special Court trying the actor rape case has sought six more months from the Supreme Court for completing the trial.

Honey M. Varghese, Special Judge, who is considering the case, approached the Supreme Court last week through the registry of the Kerala High Court.

The apex court, which had earlier extended the deadline by six months, had asked the trial court to complete the proceedings by February 4 this year. However, the proceedings got delayed due to a host of factors and the prosecution could so far examine only 82 of the nearly 300 witnesses listed in the case.

The prosecution case is that the actor was abducted and raped in a moving car and the accused recorded the crime in a mobile phone. Actor Dileep is the 8th accused in the case. He has been charged with conspiracy.

Reasons for delay

Listing out the factors that prevented the completion of the trial on time, the judge pointed out that the COVID-19 lockdown had resulted in losing much time. Though the pace of the trial picked up after the partial lifting of the lockdown, the proceedings had to be put on hold after the prosecution informed the court on October 15 that it had approached the High Court seeking transfer of the case to some other courts, the judge pointed out in the communication to the Supreme Court.

After the Kerala High Court rejected its plea, the prosecution moved the Supreme Court, where also it failed to get a favourable order. While dismissing the prosecution plea, the Supreme Court had on December 15 asked the State to find within a week a new prosecutor for conducting the case, it was pointed out.

Three months were lost in the case following the petition for a change of court. A new prosecutor took over the job on January 6 and prepared the schedule for the examination of witnesses on January 8. The schedule for examining 116 witnesses has also been prepared and examination resumed in the case, it was submitted.

It may require six more months for the trial court to complete the trial and by August this year, the trial could be completed, it was submitted.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 9:46:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/actor-rape-case-court-seeks-six-more-months-to-complete-trial/article33649831.ece

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