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State playing a ‘mischievous game’ to delay trial, actor Dileep tells Supreme Court

Malyalam actor Dileep. File

Malyalam actor Dileep. File

Malayalam actor Dileep, an accused in a sexual assault case, charged the State of Kerala in the Supreme Court on Monday of deliberately playing a "mischievous game" to delay the trial.

The accusation against the State came even as the court refused to entertain a plea by Kerala for a six-month extension to complete the trial.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar said it was up to the trial judge, and not the State, to seek extension of time.

The Bench gave the trial judge liberty and discretion, if necessary in the future, to submit a report for extra time. Saying this, the court disposed of Kerala’s plea.

Also read: Kerala HC asks Dileep, others to appear for interrogation

During the hearing, Dileep, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, took "serious objection" to the State's request for more time.

"The State is attempting to delay the trial through various methods. They had wanted to change the trial court judge. This was refused by both the High Court and the Supreme Court. Then the Public Prosecutor resigned. Four extensions have been granted in the past... This is a mischievous game," Mr. Rohatgi accused the State. He submitted that 202 witnesses have been examined in the case. "Then one man surfaces, claiming he has something to say and the case is delayed again," he stated.

Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta and advocate Nishe Rajen Shonker, for the State, said "somebody has given us evidence... We cannot ignore that".

Opposing the State's plea, Mr. Rohatgi asked why the State was now so particular to extend the time to complete the trial. "Why is the State asking? Please reject this plea," he said.

‘Let trial judge file report’

Justice Khanwilkar observed, "Let the trial judge file a report requesting for more... If the judge asks for time, we will consider".

Justice Ravikumar added that the period for completion of the trial, according to the last extension given, lasts till February 15, 2022. "If the trial judge want an extension then, let the court file a report before us at that time," he said.

The pace of the trial had suffered due to the pandemic.

The prosecution case is that the victim, also an actor, was assaulted by a group of men in a moving car in 2017. One of them recorded the alleged crime on a mobile phone. Dileep is accused of conspiracy and is the eighth accused.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 3:12:38 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/state-playing-a-mischievous-game-to-delay-trial-actor-dileep-tells-supreme-court/article38318725.ece