Special Prosecutor A Suresan, who has been representing the survivor actor in the abduction and assault case, has written to the Kerala government that he wishes to resign as the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the case and does not wish to continue to fight this case. Sources in the government told TNM in his resignation letter that he has said that the situation was not tenable to continue and he was disappointed with how things panned out.
This comes days after the Kerala High Court rejected the survivor as well as the government’s application seeking a transfer of the trial to a different court. The prosecution had alleged in its application that the judge currently presiding over the case, Judge Honey M Varghese, had a ‘discriminatory approach’ while she was hearing the case. The source said that Suresan was also concerned about whether the Kerala government would give a strong appeal against the High Court judgment.
Advocate A Suresan had last month approached the trial court, asking it to stop the proceedings into the Kerala actor and assault case of 2017, and alleging that the court is “highly biased, which is detrimental to the judicial system and to the entire prosecution.”
The 2017 case pertains to the abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor in Kerala. Malayalam actor Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the case, is alleged to have masterminded the assault, allegedly over a personal grudge against the survivor actor. The trial of the case began in November 2019 before the Additional Sessions (CBI special No III) Court in Ernakulam and was being heard by judge Honey M Varghese.
The prosecution alleged that during the course of the proceedings, the judge of the special court had allegedly raised “derogatory remarks" against the prosecutor in the court after reading out an anonymous letter which she had received.
Suresan’s plea was dismissed by the trial court after which the government and the survivor approached the High Court. However, the Kerala High Court bench of Justice VG Arun also ruled on November 20 that it found ‘no substantial ground’ to transfer the plea out of the court of judge Honey M Varghese.
As earlier reported by TNM, the survivor and the state government had told the HC in their applications that a fair trial will not be possible if the case continues to be tried by the court of judge Honey M Varghese. The state government had earlier told the HC bench which considered the transfer petition that prosecutor will not be appearing if the trial continues in the same court.
The survivor in her application had alleged that the court was “biased and hostile” towards her. The survivor’s counsel recently reiterated to the HC that the survivor has not insisted that a woman judge should consider the trial.
The survivor had also made serious allegations against the trial court stating that the judge did not interfere even when she was being harassed by Dileep’s counsels during the cross examination. “The court was a mute spectator,” the survivor had told in her plea to HC.
Serious questions were also raised by the government on the “in-camera” proceedings, as the trial court did not restrict the number of lawyers present in the courtroom. The state government questioned how 30 lawyers could be present in the court while the survivor was cross examined for days together. Survivor stated in the HC that the court had even examined the assault visuals in the presence of this baton of lawyers, of which 19 were Dileep’s advocates. “I was weeping. I was compelled to speak which no women dare to speak in public,” the survivor had told HC.