The special investigation team (SIT) of the Kerala crime branch, which is probing the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault case, approached the trial court on Tuesday seeking to revoke actor Dileep’s bail.
Dileep is currently facing trial as the chief conspirator in the case. According to the crime branch, the actor has violated the conditions of his bail, by influencing witnesses and tampering with the evidence.
Dileep was arrested on July 10, 2017 for his involvement in the abduction and assault of a female Malayalam actor earlier that February. After spending 85 days in jail, he was granted bail by the Kerala High Court.
At the end of 2021, the case gained momentum when some serious allegations were levelled against Dileep by filmmaker Balachandra Kumar. The latter alleged that Dileep had watched visuals of the sexual assault at his house and that the actor knew Pulsar Suni, the first accused in the case. Moreover, he claimed that Dileep had influenced some of the significant witnesses in the case, who later turned hostile during the trial. Based on these allegations, a fresh probe was initiated.
Several audio clips of conversations between the accused parties have surfaced since, implicating Dileep and substantiating Kumar’s allegations.
Recently, an audio clip of Dileep’s brother-in-law Suraj speaking with a former witness Dr Hyderali has emerged. In it, Suraj is reportedly heard requesting the doctor to speak in favour of Dileep, as per the instructions of the lawyers.
The crime branch also pointed out that Dileep had influenced key witnesses like Sagar, an employee at the boutique owned by the actor’s wife, Kavya Madhavan.
The SIT argued that the recent discoveries in the conspiracy to murder case, including findings that Dileep had data erased from the phones submitted as evidence, are also a solid reason for cancelling the actor’s bail.
Meanwhile, the court had earlier directed the investigation officer Baiju Paulose to submit a report in response to Dileep’s contempt of court petition against him. The actor alleged that a document submitted to the court was leaked to the media.
When Paulose submitted his response on Tuesday, the court observed that it was vague and incomplete. “He (Paulose) evasively reported that others also had the opportunity to access the document. Despite this court’s direction to maintain confidentiality in the investigation, considering the fact that an in-camera trial is going on, it seems that the IO admitted that the copies of the document were either circulated or broadcasted in the media,” the court noted.
The court then directed ADGP S Sreejith, the chief of the crime branch, to submit a detailed statement regarding the same, on or before Monday.
The court has also ordered the crime branch to submit another report on the progress of the current investigation in the case.
For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.