After the Kerala High Court dismissed his bail application, Malayalam actor Dileep faces yet another setback. Dileep, who is currently lodged at Aluva sub-jail after he was arrested in connection with the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a woman actor, will now have to continue in the prison till August 8.
The Angamaly first class magistrate court extended the judicial custody of actor Dileep on Tuesday.
The actor, who was arrested on July 10 in connection with the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a woman actor, has now been remanded till August 8.
Although his judicial remand period came to an end on Tuesday, he was not produced in Angamaly court in person, for the police had pleaded the court that there were security issues in doing so. Therefore, the court extended the actor's judicial custody, through video conferencing.
How will the case move ahead?
When asked about the legal options available to actor Dileep, senior lawyer Udayabhanu told TNM that there were two.
"Legally, one option for him is to move a special leave petition in the Supreme Court and convince the apex court that there are no much evidence to connect him to the findings of the investigation team. The sensible option before him, however, is to wait till this second remand period is over and then move the HC again based on the progress report the police will file at the end of the remand period."
Another practicing criminal lawyer at the HC, too, agreed. On condition of anonymity, the lawyer said: "Dileep can very well approach the SC. But considering the observations made by the HC in its order rejecting him bail, it is nearly impossible for him to convince the SC to get bail. Dileep, as mentioned in the HC order, is a highly influential person, who could tamper with the investigation if he is let out on bail. In most likelihood, the SC will not interfere with the case at this point."
The best option for Dileep, the lawyer pointed out, was to wait until the investigation team submits the chargesheet.
"If the police team is unable to submit the chargesheet within 90 days, then Dileep can avail statutory bail. I believe that things would have been different if he had applied (and got) for an anticipatory bail. He could have very well stalled the investigating team from finding evidence against him," the lawyer opined.
What the High Court said
On Monday, the Kerala High Court had turned down Dileep's bail application, a week after the Angamaly court refused to give him bail.
The Kerala HC agreed with the prosecution that Dileep may influence witnesses if granted bail, noting that there is sufficient evidence to link him to the crime. The court checked the police case diaries and Dileep's phone location records to make this observation.
The Kerala HC maintained that Dileep, being an influential person in the Malayalam film industry, was likely to influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence, if was let out on bail. The court also cited the inability to recover the memory card- which is said to have the visuals of the alleged assault, as a reason for denying bail to the actor.