The High Court of Kerala today dismissed the petition filed by Malayalam cine actor Dileep for CBI investigation in the criminal case relating to sexual crimes committed against an actor.
Dismissing the petition, Justice Sunil Thomas observed that the accused cannot demand which agency should investigate the case against him. The Court did not accept Dileep's contention that investigation by Kerala police was biased.
The Government had opposed the plea stating that change of investigation agency cannot be demanded after final report has been filed. It was pointed out that Dileep expressed no doubts on the impartiality of Kerala police during the stage of investigation. The petition has been filed with the ulterior motive of delaying the trial, contended the prosecution.
Dileep is made the 8th accused in the case as a conspirator of the crime, which took place on 18.02.2017, when a gang of assailants got into the vehicle of the victim and subjected her to sexual crimes. The crime was allegedly carried out by hired goons at the instance of Dileep to settle his personal scores against the victim.
In his petition, Dileep stated that the police had nabbed all the assailants and filed a final report during April 2017 without any charges of conspiracy. Some months after that, the investigation team was changed, upon which he was taken into custody on charges of conspiracy. A subsequent final report was filed making him the 8th accused as a conspirator, whereas the first final report had no conspiracy angle. He alleged that his enemies in the film field have prevailed over the investigation team to falsely implicate him in the case.
He alleged that the co-accused in the crime made phone calls to persons close to him from prison during April 2017 under the influence of external forces. This was done allegedly with the intention to fabricate evidence against him, and he had complained about it to the State Police Chief. But no action was taken on his complaint. Later, another co-accused was made to send a letter to an associate of Dileep, in order to link him to the case, and this letter was deliberately leaked to the media to create negative public opinion.
According to him, he has been implicated in the case only on the basis of these evidence which have been artificially generated through the co-accused while they were in prison. He also contended that the police versions in the two final reports regarding the recovery of the memory card and mobile phone, in which the visuals of the crime were allegedly stored, were contradictory. According to him, the course of the investigation was deflected when Addl DGP B Sandhya, who is allegedly close to his ex-wife Manju Warrier, was brought into the investigation in an illegal manner. Alleging that the state police are biased against him, he has sought for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Dileep was arrested on July 10 and spent about 85 days in custody before he was released on bail by the high court.
Earlier, he had filed a revision petition in the high court during March 2018, shortly before the trial was scheduled to commence, seeking the handing over of the memory card containing visuals of the sexual crime. However, the High Court dismissed the petition, holding that memory card was not a document under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which should be handed over to the accused. The Court further held that handing over of the memory card will violate the privacy of the victim.
Dileep has approached the Supreme Court challenging the refusal of High Court to hand over the memory card. The Government has opposed his demand. The petition is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court in January.