Kochi: The Kerala High Court was told on Wednesday by the state that the 2017 actress assault case victim’s fears regarding the investigation and trial in the matter were unfounded as the government’s stand from the start has been to ensure she gets justice.
The submission was made by the prosecution before Justice Ziyad Rahman A A during the hearing of a plea moved by the victim alleging political interference by the LDF government and claiming that there was a move to derail the probe in the case in which actor Dileep is also an accused.
During the hearing, the victim’s lawyers alleged that investigation in the case was not happening.
To this, the court said a call would be taken on the next date of hearing on whether it was necessary to call for a report from the trial court regarding the investigation.
The high court, however, declined the oral request of the prosecution to extend the time limit given till May 30 to complete the probe, saying that the deadline was fixed by another judge and the investigating agency should approach that bench if it needs more time.
It also said that actor Dileep has not been made a party in the matter and pointed out that his rights would also be affected by the outcome of these proceedings.
The high court directed the state to file a statement dealing with the allegations of the victim in her plea.
During the hearing, the state told the high court that the victim’s apprehensions were unfounded as the entire case so far has been taken forward by taking her into confidence and the government’s stand has always been to ensure that she gets justice.
The state also said that the even the special public prosecutor (SPP) was appointed in the case by keeping in mind the best interests of the victim.
The high court, thereafter, said it will hear the matter next on Friday.
Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and MP K Sudhakaran, in a release, questioned why no new SPP has been appointed in the case till date by the government after the last one resigned.
He alleged that if the government was with the victim, a new SPP should have been appointed long back.
He also alleged that the government and the police were in the process of filing a half-baked final report in haste, which shows how seriously it was taking the matter.
The high court had on April 19 extended till May 30 the time for completing the probe in the case.
In her plea, the victim has also raised serious allegations against the trial court saying the presiding officer has some ”vested interest to save the culprits”.
The plea came a day after the Crime Branch has reportedly decided to wind up the investigation into a related case of an alleged tampering of digital evidence.
”It is painfully submitted that the Government of Kerala which gave support to the cause of the petitioner/ victim at the initial stage and allowed a fair investigation in the case by police officers of high integrity and took credit of the investigation politically has backtracked from its constitutional legal commitment of conducting a free, fair and complete investigation in the case,” she has said.
The petition also alleges that Dileep has unlawfully influenced some of the politicians of the ruling front in the state and attempted to interfere with the further investigation in the case and prematurely close the same.
”…it is reliably learned that the prosecution as well as the investigation agency are now threatened by the political higher-ups to end the investigation halfway and file the additional final report in a half-cooked manner. This clearly establishes the illegal nexus between the accused and the ruling front,” the plea has said.
Raising allegations against the trial court, the petition has said it was clear from the records that the ”illegal access/ tampering was done” while one of the digital evidence was in judicial custody.
The petition has said even though the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) authorities had submitted a report to the court, the judge kept the same without making any entries in the court records.
The petitioner has also alleged that Dileep, a film star and a multimillionaire, was capable of ”playing any heinous tricks to influence anybody” and do ”any blackmailing techniques to keep others under his captivity”.
The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some persons who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by those persons to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the 2017 case and police have arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.