Three years after a Malayalam actor was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in a moving vehicle, the trial in the case finally commenced at the Additional Special Sessions Court in Kochi on Thursday, 30 January.
The survivor actor and the ten accused in the case including actor Dileep, who is accused of masterminding the crime, was present in the court for in camera trial proceedings.
On Thursday, it was the turn of the survivor to be examined. According to sources who attended the trial, the survivor, who is also the prime witness in the case, broke down in court after giving her statement. She narrated the whole incident to the court and said that she had said the same thing in her statement to the CI of InfoPark police station, soon after the assault happened. (Media is not allowed at the trial).
The examination of the survivor will continue for three more days, with the next hearing scheduled to be held on 31 January (Friday), 2 February and 3 February.
As per sources in court, 13 advocates were on record for actor Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the case, alone. All these advocates were present in court in addition to the other nine accused and their lawyers.
According to sources, the survivor also identified all of the prime accused in the case.
The trial proceedings which started at 11am on Thursday ended by 5pm. On Friday, as per sources, the court will examine the controversial visuals of the case.
After the examination of the survivor, the accused will give their statements and be examined. However, the examination of eighth accused Dileep can only begin after the results of the forensic test of visuals come out.
A total of 136 witnesses including certain persons from Malayalam film industry have been issued summons in the case, in the first phase.
It was on 17 February 2017 that the leading actor from Malayalam film industry was abducted from Kochi and sexually assaulted in a moving vehicle.
The accused actor Dileep, who is alleged to be the mastermind of the crime, has been delayinf the commencement of trial. Soon after he got bail in October 2017, he moved the lower court demanding that he be given the controversial visuals in the case. When rejected, he moved higher courts. In May 2019, Supreme Court stayed the commencement of trial.
After about seven months, the stay was lifted in November 2019.
Dileep has now approached the Kerala High Court asking to consider the matter of alleged threat against him by the prime accused Pulsar Suni, as a separate case with him as the victim.
(This article has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)