Dileep targets Reporter TV’s Nikesh Kumar, wants reporting on case barred on all media

Justice Kauser Edappagath has asked the DGP to look into the allegations made by Dileep.
Actor Dileep
Actor Dileep
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Actor Dileep’s petition asking for a gag order on the media from reporting anything related to the female actor sexual assault case came up for hearing in the Kerala High Court on Tuesday, January 18. Justice Kauser Edappagath has asked the state police chief to respond to Dileep’s allegation that an earlier gag order given by the trial court on March 19, 2020 was being violated by the media. The judge added that Dileep’s contentions cannot be brushed aside and if true, appropriate action should be initiated.

Dileep’s petition targets two people in particular – Editor-in-chief of Reporter TV, Nikesh Kumar, and investigating officer of the case, Baiju Poulose. It was Reporter TV that first aired an interview with Balachandrakumar, a man who has levelled allegations that Dileep knew the accused Pulsar Suni well and that he had a copy of the visuals of the sexual assault.

The petition says that Nikesh dons the role of the investigating agency, prosecutor and adjudicator of the case and alleges that he is ‘sponsored by the 2nd respondent’, that is Baiju Poulose. The petition further alleges that Nikesh’s acts are deliberately targeted to lower the integrity and dignity of the court and trial. “Such wilful and continued contemptuous and illegal acts has to be brought to an end in the interest of administration of justice and in ensuring fair trial,” the petition says.

Dileep also alleges through his petition that Balachandrakumar was propped up by Baiju Poulose to appear on Reporter TV. Balachandrakumar has, however, consistently maintained that he approached two other channels before going to Reporter TV, and though one channel recorded his interview, they refrained from publishing it.

The petition asks for a stop on all coverage related to the case on all media platforms till the verdict is pronounced. Dileep wants coverage of matters relating to the accused and witnesses, persons likely to be called as witnesses and the investigating team to be stopped till the conclusion of the trial.

It is to be noted here that Dileep has accused the media of violating the gag order issued by Judge Honey Verghese on March 19, 2020. That order however barred the media from covering all aspects of the case except matters permitted under Nipun Saxena versus Union of India (2019). The Nipun Saxena case had asked for privacy of survivors and victims to be maintained. The guidelines later made by the court based on this case also focused on protecting victims in such cases.

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