The sensational case relating to the abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam film actor witnessed a dramatic twist on Thursday when the Prosecution sought to stop the trial proceedings, expressing no-confidence with the presiding judge.
Stating that the conduct of the trial court is “highly biased” and “detrimental to the entire judicial system and to the entire prosecution”, the Special Public Prosecutor in the case, A Suresan, filed an application under Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking to postpone the ongoing trial proceedings.
The trial is progressing before the court of Special CBI Judge at Ernakulam, Honey M Varghese, to whom the High Court of Kerala had assigned the case last year considering the request of the victim of the crime for a woman judge to handle the matter. Prominent Malayalam film actor Dileep is accused of hatching the criminal conspiracy behind the abduction and the sexual assault of the victim, also an actor, in a moving vehicle in the outskirts of Cochin city in February 2017.
The prosecution has so far examined 55 witnesses in the case, including certain prominent actors of the Malayalam film industry. Some of them have reportedly turned hostile. The victim of the crime has also given her statement.
“The prosecution honestly believes that the prosecution as well as the victim will not get fair trial and justice from this court”, the application said.
The Special Prosecutor said that it was approaching the High Court to transfer the case to another court.
The prosecutor also added that the victim in this case “represents the Indian society at large, and any kind of damage to the image and trust of the system existing in the minds of the public at large will do considerable harm to the entire judicial system”.
In November 2019, while rejecting Dileep’s plea for a copy of the memory card allegedly containing the visuals of the sexual crime, the Supreme Court had ordered that the trial in the case should be completed expeditiously, “preferably within six months”.
The Kerala Police had arrested Dileep in July 2017 alleging that he was the mastermind of the crime. After 88 days of custody, the High Court granted him bail.
The prosecution recently filed an application seeking cancellation of his bail stating that he was influencing and intimidating the witnesses in the case.