In yet another delaying tactic in the actor assault case, actor Dileep's counsel has now requested access to pictures of third parties stored on the accused’s phones. The preliminary hearing by the defence in 2017 Kerala actor assault case started at Ernakulam Additional CBI Special Court on Tuesday.
Responding to the consistent demand raised by Dileep's lawyer to get access to complete visuals and images stored on the accused’s phones that are part of documents in the case, the court said that certain documents are of third parties that are unrelated to the case. The court also asked the defence why they are demanding such visuals that are not part of the case in any way.
"The prosecution has stated before the court that many documents in the case, excluding the controversial memory card, include private visuals of third parties that are not related to the case in any way. Then why are you demanding those visuals?," Justice Honey M Varghese asked the defence lawyer who appeared for Dileep — the eighth accused in the case.
The court also observed that providing access to those documents might infringe on the rights of third parties who are not involved with the case.
It was only recently that the Supreme Court rejected actor Dileep's demand to get access to the controversial copy of visuals of the survivor being assaulted. Rejecting the demand, the apex court had stated that Dileep will be allowed to examine the visuals which he has already done twice.
Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that the privacy of the third parties is also as important as the survivor's and hence the accused should not get access to the pictures. Prosecution also added that the third parties might even be unaware about the existence of such pictures.
It may be noted that defence was already provided documents by the prosecution that are connected with the case. But the defence also stated to the court that details of the recording such as date, whether it was tampered with etc., were absent in that copy and is now demanding an exact duplicate copy of the visuals retrieved from the mobile phones of the accused persons.
Justice Honey M Varghese, who heard the arguments of both the defence and prosecution, said that 'privacy of any individual is the most important thing’.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 11. The court also set aside the date to consider bail applications of the five accused to December 11.
At present, there are a total of 10 accused in the case. Two others were earlier discharged by the High Court. Five accused, including the prime accused Pulsar Suni, are in judicial custody. Five more accused in the case, including actor Dileep, are out on bail.
Meanwhile, the court had on November 30 cancelled the bail of Sanal Kumar, ninth accused in the case, as he failed to present before the court. Sanal Kumar is presently absconding. Expressing resentment over this, Justice Honey M Varghese has directed the sureties of Sanal Kumar to find him within one week failing which, the two sureties will be made to deposit Rs 80,000 each.