New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed trial against Malayalam actor Dileep, an accused in the assault on an actress, till his plea in the top court about access to visuals of the assault captured by the key accused Pulsar Suni is decided.
Dileep has said until he gets a copy of the crucial memory card, which he asserted proves his innocence, the framing of charges would result in "violation of natural justice" and "irreparable damage" to his reputation.
The order staying the trial was passed by a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi.
Earlier during a hearing, the Kerala government informed the Supreme Court that it would not press for framing of charges against him before the trial court in the case, till his pending plea in the apex court for access to visuals of the assault captured by main accused Pulsar Suni is decided.
The government's counsel contended that there is no requirement under the law to share all the material with the accused. Dileep's plea for the copy of the memory card was turned down earlier by the Angamaly Magistrate Court and the Kerala High Court.
The Kerala government informed the court that an understanding has been reached with Dileep in this regard. The trial court was to commence hearing on framing of charges last month.
Dileep says the visuals contained in the memory card had been manipulated. The Kerala government has, however, opposed his plea for the copy of the visuals and accused him of being the "chief conspirator".
The south Indian actress was abducted and assaulted in a moving car on February 17, 2017. Dileep was arrested in July the same year in the case. connection.
Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for Dileep, contended that the memory card is a document, but the prosecution said it is a material which does not come under the I-T Act and cannot be handed over.
In his petition, Dileep states that he has a right to get evidence relating to the case which includes the memory card in which the attack visuals have been stored.
Rohatgi argued that Dileep had the right to access all kinds of evidence that prosecution is producing against him.