In the latest development in the Kerala actor assault case, the state government on Friday, 30 October, demanded that the High Court transfer the case from a special court in Kochi, where proceedings were underway, to a different judge.
The government criticised the special court, alleging that that there had been no ‘act of balancing’ by the Bench. The development comes after the survivor actor had moved the HC, seeking a transfer of the case to another court.
The 2017 case pertains to the alleged abduction and sexual assault of a popular female actor in Kerala, where actor Dileep is accused to have masterminded the crime.
The case is being tried by the Additional Sessions (CBI special No III) Court in Ernakulam. “An act of balancing is required. But that is not done,” Senior Government Pleader Suman Chakravarthy who appeared for the state government said.
The government also raised certain allegations in front of the HC, which were recently made by the survivor actor in her plea to change the court. It said that the reports pertaining to the analysis of controversial visuals by Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) was only handed over to Dileep’s counsel by the court and not to the prosecution, when it should have been made available to all concerned parties.
Pointing to the privacy issues faced by the survivor actor during the trial proceedings, the state’s counsel said that 20 lawyers were present during the in-camera proceedings when the controversial assault visuals of the survivor were examined in her presence.
Advocate S Sreekumar, who represents the actor, also made major allegations against the court. "The survivor was harassed majorly. But even then, the court had no control," he said, pointing to the survivor's statement that she was harassed by Dileep's counsel during examination.
The survivor’s counsel also stressed about the rarity in the turn of events, where the prosecution itself doubts that the survivor‘s chances of getting justice. “There is no point in continuing proceedings (in court) now,” Sreekumar said.
Meanwhile, to the court’s query about why this was not raised in a timely manner, the government stated that the prosecution had approached the trial court from time to time but ‘it was not considered in spirit’.
It was only recently that the Special Public Prosecutor in the case Advocate A Suresan, moved the Additional Sessions (CBI special No III) Court, with plea to stop the trial proceedings. He had raised serious allegations that the judge made derogatory remarks against the prosecutor and alleged that the conduct of the court is “highly biased, which is detrimental to the judicial system and to the entire prosecution”.
The HC also asked the survivor to file an affidavit in the court with a petition for the transfer. Meanwhile, the government counsel informed the court that the Special Public Prosecutor was willing to file details of what happened in the trial court so far in a sealed cover ‘so as to avoid embarrassment to the judiciary’.
The case has been posted for further hearing on 2 November.
(The article was originally published on The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)