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Murder Conspiracy | Kerala High Court To Pronounce Order On Dileep's Pre-Arrest Bail Plea On Monday

Hannah M Varghese
4 Feb 2022 11:24 AM GMT
Murder Conspiracy | Kerala High Court To Pronounce Order On Dileeps Pre-Arrest Bail Plea On Monday
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The Kerala High Court will pronounce its verdict on Monday, in the anticipatory bail plea moved by actor Dileep and other accused in the alleged criminal conspiracy to kill police officers investigating the sensational 2017 sexual assault case.Justice Gopinath P. heard the prosecution and the accused at length today before reserving its orders. DGP T.A Shaji appearing for the...

The Kerala High Court will pronounce its verdict on Monday, in the anticipatory bail plea moved by actor Dileep and other accused in the alleged criminal conspiracy to kill police officers investigating the sensational 2017 sexual assault case.

Justice Gopinath P. heard the prosecution and the accused at length today before reserving its orders. 

DGP T.A Shaji appearing for the prosecution concluded his arguments today and pointed out that the nature and gravity of the accusation and not the offence have to be considered before granting pre-arrest bail. 

In response to the accused's contention that the crime should have been registered at the Aluva Police Station rather than at the Crime Branch, the DGP assisted by Additional Public Prosecutor P. Narayanan submitted that Crime Branch has statewide jurisdiction and is the notified agency to conduct an investigation.

The prosecution also highlighted several aspects to prove that Balachandra Kumar, whose statements led to the filing of the impugned FIR, is a credible witness in the case. 

It was also added that the minor inconsistencies in his statement only prove that it was genuine, and pointed out that the accused had failed to prove any material variations. 

The prosecution further pointed out that the subsequent conduct of the accused upon being aware of a crime being registered against them was sufficient to prove that they were trying to hide something. To support this contention, the prosecution relied on the fact that they had refused to hand over their phones to the investigating officers. 

Substantiating on this argument, reliance was placed on the Supreme Court decision in Vipan Kumar Dhir vs State of Punjab, where it was held that the gravity of the offence, the conduct of the accused and societal impact of an undue indulgence by Court when the investigation is at the threshold, are also amongst a few situations, where a Superior Court can interfere in an order of bail. 

The DGP also handed over a written submission containing certain additional allegations to the Court today. The accused sought time to file a reply to the same till tomorrow since a copy of the same was only given to them during the proceedings. 

Yesterday when the matter was taken up, Senior Advocate B. Raman Pillai appearing for Dileep concluded the arguments on behalf of the accused. The senior counsel had then alleged that the hidden agenda of the prosecution was to entrap the actor rather than prove the offence.

The accused claimed that they have been falsely implicated in the said offences. They have asserted that the registration of the said FIR directly by the Crime Branch is 'nothing but a vindictive and retaliatory act' of Crime Branch DySp Baiju Paulose.

This is in light of the fact that Dileep had recently initiated contempt of court proceedings against Paulose for allegedly causing obstruction to the administration of justice. The Additional Special Judge has issued notice in this petition on 4th January.

The developments ensued in the anticipatory bail plea moved by the actor and others apprehending arrest in the said conspiracy case. The actor has also moved a separate application before the Court seeking to halt further investigation in this matter.

Meanwhile, the prosecution had submitted an application last month accusing Dileep and his men of attempting to destroy critical evidence in the ongoing investigation by refusing to hand over the mobile phones they had used before January 2022.

In this matter, the Court had directed the accused to hand over these phones to its Registrar General in a sealed box by Monday. Later on, these phones were ordered to be handed over to the Jurisdictional Magistrate Court (JFCM Aluva). Subsequently, the JFCM decided to send the phones to a forensic lab in Thiruvanthapuram.

Earlier this year, director Balachandra Kumar had released audio recordings of people including Dileep trying to sabotage the case and obstruct the trial. In his statement, he added that Dileep and his men tried to endanger the lives of the officials.

Following his statements, the trial court had collected a confidential statement from the director.

Consequently, Dileep and five men were booked under Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) r/w Section 34 (common intention) of IPC. The new case was filed under non-bailable sections.

Apprehending arrest, Dileep, his brother P. Sivakumar and his brother-in-law T.N.Suraj had approached the Court praying for anticipatory bail.

Dileep is concurrently facing trial as the alleged mastermind of the abduction and the sexual assault of a female actress in a moving car in 2017 and is the 8th accused therein.

The allegation of the prosecution is that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to kidnap a popular film actress, wrongfully confine her and record her nude photograph.

In furtherance of that conspiracy, on 17.02.2017, when the victim was proceeding in her vehicle along the National Highway, after staging a fake accident, the petitioner along with a few others, forcefully entered the vehicle, confined her and took her to Cochin. On the way, one of the accused entered the vehicle and sexually abused her and video graphed the act on a mobile.

The crime was registered pursuant to the victim's complaint.

Case Title: P. Gopalakrishnan alias Dileep & Ors v. State of Kerala & Anr.

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