Kerala

Prosecutor in actor rape case resigns

The legal and procedural crisis in the trial of the actor rape case has deepened with A. Sureshan, the special prosecutor, stepping down from the post.

The special prosecutor submitted his resignation to the Additional Chief Secretary on Monday.

The proceedings in the case had to be stopped for the past fortnight after the prosecution moved the High Court for a change of trial court raising allegations of bias against the special judge hearing the case.

As the trial proceedings resumed at the Additional Special Sessions Court (SPE/CBI)-3, Ernakulam, on Monday, Joseph Manalavan, the lawyer assisting the public prosecutor, handed over a statement to special judge Honey M. Varghese stating that Mr. Sureshan has put in his papers.

“Mr. Sureshan has placed the resignation before the authority concerned and requested them to relieve him from the duties as the special public prosecutor,” read the one-line statement that was submitted before the court.

When contacted, Mr. Sureshan said he would respond to the developments later.

Actor Dileep has been arraigned as the 8th accused in the case in which the actor was abducted and raped in a moving car.

HC rejects plea

Incidentally, the trial court had resumed the proceedings in the case on the day after the single judge of the Kerala High Court rejected the application of the prosecution and the survivor in the rape and abduction case for a change of court. Though the prosecution and the survivor had sought a change of court arguing that the trial court was acting in a biased manner, the High Court had rejected their plea.

With the information of the prosecutor stepping down reaching the trial court, the special judge directed the investigation officer in the case to make necessary arrangements for resuming the proceedings soon. The case has been posted for November 26, considering the directives of the Supreme Court to complete the trial in the case on or before February 4, 2021, sources indicated.

On November 26, the investigation officer will have to submit a report to the court about the alternative arrangements made for resuming the trial.

Implications

If the State government accepts the resignation of the prosecutor and appoints a new one in his place, the new prosecutor will continue the proceedings from where his predecessor has ended. Normally, the examination of new witnesses will continue as scheduled by the court and the re-examination of the earlier witnesses may be required only if some clarifications are required, legal sources indicated.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:46:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/prosecutor-in-actor-rape-case-resigns/article33164074.ece

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