The Supreme Court has on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the plea filed by actor Dileep to obtain a physical copy of the video visual recording of the sexual assault of the popular actor who was assaulted in February 2017. Citing a petition filed by Dileepâ€™s lawyer, Mukul Rohatgi, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the case, and specified that the case should be listed in four weeks. Both lawyers appearing in this case, Rohatgi for Dileep and Harin Rawal for Kerala government cited that they were indisposed to appear for the hearing on the day it had been listed, which was January 22.
Dileepâ€™s lawyer had submitted a plea on Tuesday asking for an adjournment of one week in the hearing of his plea. The Court cited this plea, his plea for time to submit a rejoinder application to the governmentâ€™s earlier submitted affidavit, and the fact that the governmentâ€™s counsel was unavailable till February 12, as the reasons for the adjournment.
The case in question dates back to February of 2017 â€“ the actor was assaulted by a group of men on her way back from work. In the two years since, the trial has been delayed on multiple occasions for several reasons, including what are deliberate delay tactics by Dileep, who is accused of masterminding the sexual assault.
Dileep had moved the Supreme Court on December 1, 2018 requesting that all evidence materials in the actor assault case, including the video recording of the sexual assault itself, be handed over to him. He had filed an earlier plea with the same demand in the Angamaly Magistrate Court, which was rejected on February 7, 2018. He then approached the Kerala High Court with the same plea, claiming that accessing the video would help him prove his innocence in the case in which he has been named as the mastermind in the chargesheet. The HC, too, turned down his petition on August 13, 2018, clearly stating that his persistent demand for the video was a delaying tactic to slow down the progress of the case in court.
When Dileep went to SC, the Kerala government, on the other hand, filed an affidavit, stating that actor Dileep must not be given a copy of the video that was taken of the assault of a female actor in February 2017. It cited concerns over the video recording being leaked, a fair trial being jeopardised, the fact that Dileep is not actually legally entitled to the video recording, and the survivorâ€™s own stated wishes and human rights in putting forth the argument that Dileep must not be given access to a physical copy of the video recording. The SCâ€™s decision to adjourn the plea on Wednesday also takes note of the fact that Dileep and his lawyers are yet to respond to this affidavit.