The Kerala High Court on Tuesday posted for January 21 the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea of actor Dileep in the actress abduction case.
When the matter came up for hearing this morning, the prosecution sought more time to complete the probe in the light of fresh developments and the court posted the case for Friday.
This is the third time that the court is postponing the plea in the wake of fresh developments and as on the previous two occasions, the court ordered that there should be no arrest of the actor, till then.
On Monday, the High Court allowed the prosecution to re-examine three and summon five new witnesses in the ongoing trial in the case.
All these fresh twists and turns surfaced early this month after film director Balachandra Kumar made fresh statements related to the case.
The court proceedings were progressing smoothly for Dileep until Kumar made an appearance and spilled the beans saying that the actor soon after being released on bail saw the visuals of the actress who was kidnapped being physically attacked by her tormentors.
Until this time it was only the trial court had seen it. Kumar made more disclosures before the police and also a magistrate.
Based on these disclosures, the police probe team registered a fresh case and sensing that he might be arrested, Dileep sought an anticipatory bail.
Dileep was arrested in 2017 and lodged in prison in a case related to a gang sexually assaulting a frontline heroine of South Indian movies and filming the scenes. After two months in jail, he was released on bail.
With intense press scrutiny into the case, the Kerala High Court has directed the State Police Chief to probe and file a report on a petition filed by Dileep who is seeking an order to restrain media from reporting matters related to the case until the conclusion of the trial.
Single Bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath ordered to file the report within three weeks, following which, the court will hear the plea.
The court ordered that “the offence alleged is under 327(3) CrPC. The court ordered an in-camera trial which is going on. When a trial is held on-camera, it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matters relating to proceedings except with previous permission of the court.”
“No such permission was given by the court. They conduct an inquiry into the allegations in this writ petition regarding the flagrant violation of the trial court order. Needless to say, if any such allegation is found to be true, appropriate action under law shall be initiated. The instances pointed out by the petitioner cannot easily be brushed aside,” the court added.
The court has also issued notice to a Malayalam channel mentioned in the petition.
Dileep also sought a directive to the State Police Chief to ensure strict compliance with the order of the Additional Special Sessions Court prohibiting the printing and publication of proceedings of the case.
When the trial began, the Additional Special Sessions Court allowed the plea of Dileep and issued an order directing that nobody should print or publish the proceedings in connection with the case except the matters permitted as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
Dileep is the eighth accused in this actor assault case.