The Kerala High Court on Thursday adjourned till February 2 the hearing in the anticipatory bail plea moved by Malayalam film actor Dileep in a case against him and five others for allegedly threatening officials probing into the sexual assault of an actress in 2017.
Justice Gopinath P adjourned the case considering the prosecution submission seeking time for analysing the digital evidence in connection with the probe. Counsel for Dileep then submitted that the interim order preventing his arrest may continue till the date of the next hearing. The court, after taking the views of the prosecution, extended the validity of the interim order till February 2.
Last Saturday, the court had granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest. The accused was directed to fully cooperate with the investigation. The court had said director Balachandra Kumar, who had recently made some startling revelations against the actor, was an acquaintance of Dileep and has submitted some relevant material to the crime branch which led to the registering of the case.
Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law T N Suraj have also moved the court seeking the same relief. On January 9, the Crime Branch registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was telecast by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.
The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offense), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people). This apprehension is borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who from the start has been trying to falsely implicate the actor in the sexual assault case, the petition alleged.
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 of the accused, 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 some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the case and police arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.
With inputs from PTI.