The Supreme Court on Monday, 5 September, ordered that the trial in the Kerala actor assault case be completed before 31 January 2023. The court was hearing an application filed by the trial judge, Honey M Varghese, seeking an extension of time.
A bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and MM Sundresh passed the order, in which they also directed all the parties involved in the case to cooperate to complete the trial within the stipulated time. Further, the trial court has been directed to submit a status report on the case within four weeks.
Actor Dileep, who is an accused in the Kerala actor assault case, on July 29, approached the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the trial court to resume the trial and complete it at the earliest.
In his petition, he alleged that the case was fabricated by a "small but powerful and influential section of Malayalam film industry out of personal vengeance and professional rivalry," and that his ex-wife and actor Manju Warrier and a high-ranking police officer, who is presently holding the rank of DGP in Kerala Police, were also involved in it.
Meanwhile, the survivor's counsel submitted that the Kerala High Court was hearing a plea by the survivor, seeking transfer of the trial to another court.
The case pertains to the abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor in Kerala, allegedly at the behest of actor Dileep, who has since been booked as the eighth accused in the case. The five-year-old case has been gaining renewed attention in recent months with fresh revelations, witnesses, and a controversy involving former DGP of Prisons, Sreelekha, in favour of the accused actor.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)