The prosecution approached the court with a petition to examine 16 witnesses; nine were additional witnesses while seven had been examined before.

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news Court Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 17:42

The prosecution in the Malayalam actor sexual assault case has approached the Kerala High Court appealing against a decision by Special CBI Court Judge Honey Verghese regarding further examination of witnesses. The case pertains to the abduction and sexual assault of a female actor from the Malayalam film industry on February 17, 2017. The trial has been going on since 2018 and on November 16, 2021, the prosecution approached the court with a petition to examine 16 witnesses; nine of them are additional witnesses while seven have been examined before. This was opposed by accused number 8, actor Dileep, who has been accused of paying money to a man named Pulsar Suni for contracting the sexual assault of the actor and videotaping it.

While Judge Honey Verghese allowed the reexamination of three witnesses, she denied permission for 13 others saying that these witnesses had been examined and there was no need for a repeat. She also denied permission to the prosecution to summon four witnesses whose phone numbers were used by the accused persons. The prosecution had asked to find out how the mobile phones that were registered under their names reached the hands of the accused. The High Court did not allow the evidence to be placed before her, though signed photocopies of relevant documents were submitted as prosecution exhibits.

An aggrieved prosecution then decided to approach the Kerala High Court. In its petition, the prosecution says that the “whole endeavour ought to be to find out the truth and to punish the real culprit in a trial for criminal offence. Shutting out the evidence on technical grounds may not be conducive to the best interest of Justice.” 

In November 2020, Special Public Prosecutor A Suresan who had dealt with the case right from the beginning had quit alleging that the judge displayed a discriminatory approach. Though the survivor in the case and the government sought for a transfer of the case to another court, the High Court denied this request.

A Suresan had initially approached the trial court, asking it to stop the proceedings alleging that the court is “highly biased, which is detrimental to the judicial system and to the entire prosecution.”

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