Kerala

SC refuses to stay trial against Dileep

Actor wanted trial to be frozen till he got a report about the authenticity of a memory card

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the trial against Malayalam actor Dileep in a case of abduction and molestation of an actress in which he is one of the accused.

The actor wanted the trial to be frozen till he got a report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) about the authenticity of a memory card containing certain visuals allegedly of the attack on the victim. Dileep, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, contended that his right of defence would be crippled without the report as the ‘whole case revolves around the memory card.’

A Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, instead, took the middle path.

The Bench ordered the examination-in-chief of prosecution witnesses to continue. It said the cross-examination of the witnesses in court would only begin after Dileep gets the CFSL report.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate G. Prakash, for Kerala, said the plea by the actor was only a ploy to delay the trial.

The court asked the CFSL, Chandigarh, to expedite its examination and complete the report.

The Supreme Court, in a judgment in November, had allowed Dileep to either personally inspect in court the contents of the memory card or seek a second opinion about its genuineness and credibility from an independent agency like the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The court had upheld the actor’s argument that the card should be considered a ‘document’ under the Evidence Act.

The plea for a stay of trial came a few days after charges were framed against him and nine other accused for the incident which occurred in 2017.

The trial court had dismissed a plea filed by Dileep to exclude him from the list of accused on the ground that there was prima facie evidence against the actor, who is eighth accused in the case.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:31:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sc-refuses-to-stay-trial-against-dileep/article30586910.ece

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