One of the petitions is the state government’s appeal against the trial court’s orders declining its plea to summon further witnesses in the case. The prosecution had filed a petition to produce 16 more witnesses. But, on December 21, the trial court had only allowed the summoning of three witnesses and rejected the State’s request to summon the others.
Challenging this, the prosecution has filed a plea noting that “out of the 16, nine where additional witnesses and seven were those who had already been examined,” and thus the lower court’s decision to allow only three witnesses was “illegal and improper and would cause prejudice in arriving at a right decision in the case.”
The other petition is related to getting certified copies of the call records of the accused. The prosecution has sought the original customer applications of 25 phone numbers, including that of Dileep, as well as certificates to obtain the call detail records for eight numbers. The petition stated that fresh certificates are being sought as the previous ones “did not furnish the entire details.”
Justice Viju Abraham sought the stand of the accused regarding both of the petitions from the prosecution and listed the matter for hearing on January 6, 2022.
The case so far
A female Malayalam actor was abducted on February 17, 2017, while she was travelling from Kochi to Thrissur in Kerala. She was sexually assaulted and then dropped off. Soon after the incident, Pulsar Suni, the driver of the vehicle she was assaulted in, was arrested as the first accused in the case.
In June 2017, Suni said that Dileep had conspired in the assault and on July 20, the actor was arrested as the eighth accused in the case. Dileep was later granted bail that October.
In December 2019, the Supreme Court set the deadline for the Ernakulam Addition Special Sessions Court to complete the trial in six months. After a hiatus, the trial resumed in January 2020. However, the deadline was extended by another six months in August 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In August 2021, the Supreme Court gave the district court yet another extension of six months to complete the trial.