Actor rape case: prosecution to move HC this week

The prosecution in the female actor rape case will move the Kerala High Court this weekend seeking a change of court, as it apprehends that justice may be denied to the victim if the trial is continued in the present court.

The prosecution may highlight what it terms as the hostile atmosphere in the trial court, the alleged procedural violations in the case, and the reported inappropriate conduct of the presiding officer of the court.

It may also list out the reported instance of bias on the part of the presiding officer against the prosecution. There have also been instances of violation of natural justice, according to sources.

The case is being tried at the Additional Special Sessions Court (SPE/CBI)-3, Ernakulam, for nearly three years. The Kerala High Court had deputed a woman judicial officer to try the case considering the plea of the victim. Actor Dileep, the eighth accused in the case, has been charged with conspiracy.

The trial in the abduction and rape case is being held in-camera and only the lawyers concerned, the investigation officer, and minimum number of court staff are permitted inside the court hall during the trial.

Some of the reported comments and remarks of the judicial officer against the prosecution in the court and discussing the contents of an anonymous letter may also figure in the petition. There were also reported conversations in the court on the possible outcome of the trial, which according to the prosecution, marred the hope of a fair trial.

The reported off-the-cuff remarks of the presiding officer in open court may also be brought to the notice of the higher judiciary, sources indicated.

At the same time, legal sources indicated that the directives of the Supreme Court and the High Court and the procedures as laid down by law were strictly followed in the case. Only those conversations permitted in the legal process took place in the court room, the sources indicated.

As the rift widened, A. Sureshan, the prosecutor in the case, sought time in the trial court for moving the Kerala High Court nearly 10 days ago. After waiting for about eight days for filing the petition, the trial court rejected the plea and ordered the resumption of trial on November 3.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court-fixed deadline for completing the trial will end on February 4, 2021.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:49:06 AM |

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