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Breaking: Actor Assault Case| Kerala High Court Judge Recuses From Hearing Survivor's Plea Alleging Foul Play In Ongoing Probe

Hannah M Varghese
24 May 2022 5:34 AM GMT
Marital Rape A Ground For Divorce : Kerala High Court
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Justice Kauser Edappagath of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday morning recused from hearing the petition moved by the survivor actress in the 2017 actor sexual assault case raising serious allegations against the State and the trial court judge, suspecting foul play in the ongoing investigation in the 2017 actor assault case.

Reports suggest that the survivor had sought for the case to be listed under a different Bench before the Registrar yesterday, yet the case was listed to be adjudicated by Justice Edappagath. When the matter was mentioned today morning, the judge recused from hearing the case.

The plea will be heard by another bench tomorrow.

The writ petition was filed through Advocate T.B. Mini alleging that the Government which supported the cause of the petitioner at the initial stages and allowed a fair investigation in the case, by police officers of the high integrity and took credit for the investigation politically has backtracked from its constitutional legal commitment to conducting a free, fair and complete investigation in the case.

The survivor has a bonafide apprehension that the 8th accused in the case, actor Dileep who is highly influential directly and through his sources has unlawfully influenced some of the politicians in the ruling front and is attempting to interfere with the further investigation in the case and prematurely close the same.

The plea has also questioned the integrity of the trial court judge saying that "the act of the presiding officer is highly suspicious." She argued that the tampering of the memory card may help the accused take undue advantage in the further proceedings.

Being the survivor, she asserted that she has the fundamental right to get a fair trial and justice as well as to know who has illegally accessed the memory card and tampered with or transmitted it as it is a violation of her fundamental right to privacy. It is the duty of the court to ascertain how the memory card was tampered with while in the custody of the court and who are the culprits.

"The conduct of the presiding officer in obstructing the investigation in this matter clearly shows that she wants to illegally help the culprits. Her (trial court judge) conducts in this regard if condoned or tolerated will be a disgrace to the judicial system which assures equal protection under the law," reads the plea.

Even though the prosecution had approached this court with a petition to extend the time limit fixed by this Court, it was reliably learned that the prosecution, as well as the investigation agency, are now threatened by political higher-ups to end the investigation halfway and file an additional report in a half-cooked manner. This clearly establishes the illegal nexus between the accused and the ruling front, she submits.

It has been further submitted that against all ethics and legal norms, Dileep's lawyers interfered with the administration of justice by tampering with evidence and illegally influencing the material witnesses and evidence in this regard has already come into the public domain.

She argued that though the investigating agency has made all its attempts to investigate the role of the said Advocates, the same was not successful as the senior counsel and his associates have substantial influence with the ruling Government and it is learnt that some assurances were secured by those advocates from the political authorities that the further investigation will not reach them.

So there is also an agenda for the political and administrative higher-ups that no investigation is done in respect of eh illegal access, tampering and transmission of the contents of the memory card are conducted due to reasons best known to them, the plea states.

It was submitted that it is highly necessary in such circumstances for the majesty of law and justice to interfere in the matter to uphold the rule of law in this country and to protect the constitutional and legal right of the survivor of a heinous crime never heard n the history of criminal jurisprudence in our country.

Case Title: X v. State of Kerala & Ors.


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