Kerala

Kerala approaches Supreme Court in actor Dileep case

Actor Dileep. File photo: Special arrangement  

Kerala has moved the Supreme Court against a State High Court decision to dismiss pleas made by both the State and the victim to transfer the trial of a sexual abuse and abduction case against Malayalam actor Dileep and some others.

The State government, represented by advocate G. Prakash, said the trial so far had been marred by incidents of bias towards the prosecution and harassment of the victim. It is the right of the victim to get a fair trial, the State underscored.

“During the trial, while the examination of PW1/victim was going on in-camera, the fifth accused took pictures inside the court hall using his mobile phone. Also, the photographs of the car in which the victim has been travelling to the court were taken,” the State government appeal informed the Supreme Court.

“The trial court has remained a mute spectator despite the Prosecution taking these aspects to the notice of the trial court. The proceedings before the trial court is conducted in blatant violation of Cr.PC and Indian Evidence Act,” the State emphasised.

‘In camera’ trial

The government said at least 40 defence lawyers were present in the “in-camera” cross-examination of the victim, who is an actress. By permitting a large number of lawyers inside the court hall, the very purpose of “in camera” trial was defeated, the State pointed out.

The trial judge failed to stop the defence from continuously questioning the victim about the details of the sexual assault even as they questioned her moral character, the appeal said.

At one point, the State said, the trial judge, for no apparent reason, got “agitated and made unnecessary remarks against the Special Public Prosecutor and the investigating agency and went to the extent of stating that what was going on is not prosecution but prostitution”.

The State urged the Supreme Court to immediately stay the trial proceedings before the Special Court in Ernakulam.

It asked the apex court to stay the High Court’s dismissal of transfer pleas as well.

“The various incidents of bias and the approach of the judge towards the prosecutor and the victim were brought to the notice of the High Court as a ground for transfer. The complete deposition of the victim recorded in the vernacular language was also produced before the High Court to prove the alleged bias on the part of the trial judge. This was not considered by the High Court before rejecting the transfer petitions... The High Court before issuing notice to the accused persons to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, dismissed the transfer petitions at the admission stage itself,” the State appeal said.

The police version is that the actress was held captive and assaulted by some of the accused while on her way to Kochi. They had also taken a video of the incident. The allegation is that accused Dileep masterminded the conspiracy.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 11:37:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-approaches-supreme-court-in-actor-dileep-case/article33259046.ece

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