2017 Actress Assault Case: Kerala HC Declines To Cancel Bail Of Actor Dileep


The Kerala High Court on Wednesday has declined to cancel the bail of actor Dileep in the 2017 actress assault case, stating that doing so in the present juncture “may frustrate the trial” which is about to be completed.

The order by Justice Sophy Thomas came on the plea by the prosecution seeking to cancel actor’s bail on several grounds, including that he allegedly destroyed evidences in the case, influenced witnesses and conspired to do away with the investigating officers.

The High Court stated that it was of the view that if Dileep’s bail got cancelled now “it may lead to further litigations and complications which may frustrate the trial which is about to be completed and may drag the proceedings indefinitely”.

It further stated that the crime was of the year 2017 and “after a long drawn trial, it is nearing completion.”

Justice Thomas stated and disposed of the plea moved by the prosecution, “So this court is of the view that let the trial be completed and the case be disposed of at the earliest. The crimes, if any, registered for destroying evidence, influencing or threatening witnesses or for the conspiracy to do away with the investigating officers etc. may take its course till it is logically concluded in accordance with law.”

The prosecution also sought quashing of the observations made by the lower court while declining to cancel the bail of the actor.

The prosecution, represented by Director General of Prosecution TA Shaji and additional public prosecutor P Narayanan expressed apprehensions that the lower court observations might have an adverse impact on the appreciation of evidence by the court conducting the trial.

The DGP urged the High Court to clarify that the lower court’s observations were only for the purpose of disposing of the plea to cancel the actor’s bail and can’t have any adverse influence on the appreciation of evidence in the case.

The High Court noted that the lower court’s observations may tend to appear as if the judge “has made up her mind as to the destruction of evidence and influencing the witnesses, etc.”

Therefore, the High Court clarified that the findings and observations by the lower court were only for the purpose of disposing of the prosecution plea to cancel Dileep’s bail and “it shall not affect the appreciation of evidence” in the main case.

Justice Thomas stated in her order, “The trial judge has to appreciate the available facts and evidence in the case independently and untrammeled by any of the observations and findings in the lower court order.”

The lower court observed, while declining to cancel Dileep’s bail that it can’t conclude that he deleted evidence in connection with the case for the simple reason that the forensic lab’s report contains the fact that some conversations were deleted.

It also observed that it can’t hold that the actor caused disappearance of evidence simply for the reason that the mobile phone was subjected to examination in a private lab.

The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for 2 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, including actor Dileep, and police have arrested 7. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.

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About the Author: Meera Verma