Dileep is the eighth accused in the case. He has been charged as the chief conspirator behind the abduction and sexual assault of the female Malayalam actor by a group of men in a moving car in February 2017.
Dismissing his plea, Justice Kauser Edappagath said that the investigating agency can continue with its probe but directed that the investigation be concluded by April 15.
A fresh probe in the case was ordered by the trial court after filmmaker Balachandra Kumar brought up serious allegations against Dileep and his associates, late last year. Kumar said that Dileep had watched the video of the assault at his house, that the actor knew the first accused Pulsar Suni, and had influenced some of the significant witnesses in the case, who had turned hostile during the trial.
Earlier in February, one of Dileep’s advocates Philip T Varghese told Silverscreen India that they had filed a petition seeking to stop further investigation as it was holding up the trial in the assault case.
In his plea, Dileep argued that continued investigation in the case should not be permitted as the final report had already been filed in November 2017. “In the name of further investigation, what is being carried out is a series of vindictive acts by a set of police officers, including very senior officers. They also want to impose a case against the petitioner and all the other male members of his family and people who are closely associated with him,” his counsel argued.
On February 15, when Dileep’s plea was heard in the court, the survivor submitted an application stating that she wanted the court to hear her before deciding on the plea.
During the hearing on February 21, opposing Dileep’s plea, the survivor noted that in several cases, the Supreme Court had held that the accused has no say in the matter of investigation or any further inquiry. Hence, Dileep had no right to challenge the proceedings of the trial court, she added. The survivor further asked to be added as an additional third respondent in the case in the interest of justice.
On February 24, the court had reserved the orders in the petition after hearing all the parties extensively for over three days. This order was passed on Tuesday.
For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.