The Kerala High Court, on Saturday, granted actor Dileep and his associates interim protection from arrest till January 27, while hearing their anticipatory bail pleas in the conspiracy to murder case. The court also ordered the accused to appear before the state police for questioning.
The Kerala crime branch had filed an FIR against Dileep and four others, for allegedly conspiring to kill police officials who investigated them, in the female actor abduction and assault case, in which Dileep is the eighth accused. The FIR was filed based on allegations raised by filmmaker Balachandra Kumar. Following this, the accused moved to the Kerala High court, seeking pre-arrest bail in the new case filed against them.
The accused have now been ordered to appear before the Crime Branch, Ernakulam on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation between 9 am to 8 pm.
Justice Gopinath P, during Saturday’s hearing, noted that the petitioners shall fully cooperate in the investigation and that any violation or attempt to impede the process of investigation will be viewed seriously by the court. He added that any such violation will lead to the cancellation of the order of protection.
He said, “There are some materials that the director-general of prosecution [TA Shaji] had shown me. I cannot reveal that. It shows that there is a possibility of investigation being influenced. It is disturbing to say the least.”
The court observed that conspiracy to commit a crime is itself an offence and that the state is entitled to investigate it. The court added that the allegation of conspiring to kill investigating police officers is serious and it needs to be investigated.
“Please tell your clients that I am very very serious and that any violation will be dealt with seriously. Don’t attempt anything unnecessary, don’t even think about it,” the court warned the petitioners.
Earlier, when the hearing was scheduled on Friday, the justice said that it will be better to hear the case in the physical courtroom on Saturday as the case files are bulky.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled on January 27 and the justice has directed the director-general of the prosecution to submit the collected materials based on the investigation to the court.
For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.