Supreme Court Refuses To Extend Deadline for Trial in Actor Dileep Case

The actor and others were interrogated for 11 hours for the second consecutive day.

3 min read
Hindi Female

The Supreme Court, on Monday, rejected a plea by the Kerala government seeking more time to complete the trial in the assault case against Malayalam film actor Dileep.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar left it to the discretion of the trial court to take an appropriate decision. The bench said that it would consider the plea if the trial judge asked for more time.

The state police department had sought an extension of the time period of the trial by another six months. The deadline to conclude the trial is 16 February 2022.

In February 2017, a popular Malayalam actor was allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car in Kerala's Kochi. The trial was nearing completion in December 2021 when startling allegations against Dileep, the prime accused in the case, surfaced, sending the investigation into a new direction.

A criminal conspiracy case was registered against Dileep, on 21 January 2022, after several audio clips came to light, in which the actor and one of his relatives allegedly appear to be conspiring to kill six police officials who have been investigating the case.


State Is Attempting to Delay Trial: Dileep's Counsel

Dileep had filed an application opposing the state's request and demanded a quick trial in the case. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the actor, said on Monday that the Kerala Police was conducting a media trial against his client.

"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," Rohatgi alleged.

Rohatgi pointed out that “time has already been extended four times and the state is playing a mischievous game.”

He submitted that 202 witnesses had been examined in the case. "Then one man surfaces, claiming he has something to say and the case is delayed again," he stated.

In November 2019, the apex court had asked the trial court to conclude the trial "preferably within six months." However, the court awarded an extension of time due to COVID lockdown restrictions.


Actor Dileep & Others Grilled for 11 Hours on Second Day of Investigation

Meanwhile, Dileep, his brother P Sivakumar (Anoop), brother-in-law TN Suraj, friend Baiju Chengamanad and driver Krishnadas (Appu), appeared before the Crime Branch at Kalamessery in Kochi, on Monday, for the second consecutive day and were interrogated for over 11 hours. Earlier on Sunday, they were interrogated for 11 hours by five teams under the supervision of Superintendent of Police MP Mohanachandran, and their statements were recorded.

The Kerala High Court on Saturday, 22 January, told Director General of Prosecution (DGP) TA Shaji that the investigating officers of the Kerala Police could question the actor for three days – 23, 24, and 25 January.

The actor, however, will not be arrested till 27 January, the court said in an interim order.

The police on Thursday, 20 January, had filed a 68-page statement opposing the anticipatory bail plea filed by the actor in the Kerala High Court after he was booked in the new criminal conspiracy case. The crime branch said in its statement that for the first time in the state's history, there has been a “criminal conspiracy to harm even the life of investigating officers.”

The new case against Dileep came about after filmmaker P Balachandrakumar went public in December 2021 with his claims that the accused actor had plotted attacks on the investigating officers.

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