The Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the plea to transfer the trial in the case of the abduction and sexual assault case of a female Malayalam actor. Malayalam actor Dileep is the accused mastermind in the case.
The court observed that there were no sustainable grounds to transfer the case. The court also rejected the prosecution’s request to stay the case for a week so that it could appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis that it would not be proper.
Justice VG Arun was reported by Bar and Bench as saying, “It goes without saying that unless the Court and the prosecutor work in sync, it will result in either the guilty escaping from the clutches of law or the innocent being punished. I am confident in the endeavour to reach the truth and render justice, the Special Public Prosecutor and the defence lawyers will work in tandem as is expected of them. For the reasons mentioned above, I find no sustainable ground to allow the prayer for transfer. Consequently, the transfer petitions are dismissed.”
The trial is currently ongoing at the Additional Special Sessions Court at Ernakulam in Kerala.
Both the survivor and the prosecution had moved the high court in October to transfer the trial to another court, claiming bias on part of the judge. The prosecution had claimed that they wanted a transfer because of alleged derogatory comments against the Special Public Prosecutor and repeated adjournments. The survivor stated that the court remained silent when she was harassed in the name of examination by Dileep’s counsel.
On February 17, 2017, the survivor was abducted while she was on her way from Kochi to Thrissur in Kerala. After being sexually assaulted for two hours, she was dropped off near the residence of director Lal. Soon after the incident, the first accused in the abduction case- Pulsar Suni, who drove the car while she was being assaulted- was arrested. In June, Pulsar Suni confessed that actor Dileep conspired the assault.
On July 20, 2017, Dileep was arrested as the eighth accused in the case. Reportedly, the prosecution counsel alleged that the trial proceedings were constantly being delayed ever since he was let out on bail.
Dileep, who was suspended from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), was reinstated to the organisation in 2018. In retaliation, the survivor, Rima Kallingal, Ramya Nambeesan and Geetu Mohandas resigned from AMMA. The Women in Cinema Collective slammed AMMA’s decision and called it “reeking with misogyny”.