The special court judge hearing the Kerala actor assault case has moved the Supreme Court, seeking an extension of the deadline to complete the trial proceedings of the case. Justice Honey M Varghese has sought an extension of three more months for the completion of the trial. The special court judge sought an extension citing the lockdown due to COVID-19 for the delay, reports Media One.
The trial proceedings in the case pertaining to the abduction and sexual assault of a leading female Malayalam actor in 2017, began in December 2019. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had ordered the trial proceedings to be completed within six months. However, due to the lockdown, there was a three-month delay in the proceedings.
Cross-examination of the witnesses is not yet completed in the case, where Malayalam actor Dileep is a key accused, alleged to be the mastermind behind the crime.
As per reports, a three-member judge, headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, will consider the matter on Tuesday.
Justice Honey M Varghese had been given the charge of hearing the case on the request of the survivor actor, who wanted a female judge to consider the case. Though recently Kerala High Court issued a transfer order to the judge from Kochi to Kozhikode, it was later put on hold.
The trial proceeding in the case had begun last year after much delay â€” three years after the crime â€” primarily due to the delay tactics by the key accused Dileep.
After Dileep approached the SC, seeking to view the controversial visuals of the assault, the apex court had stayed the proceedings for about six months to clear the technical confusion regarding whether the visuals could be handed over or not. Finally, the SC ordered the trial court to show him the visuals but not to hand over the copy, considering the privacy of the survivor actor.
After the commencement of the trial, Dileep had also approached the court asking for a copy of visuals of the memory cards of the other accused, which were unrelated to the case.
Watch Dileep being arrested in 2017: