The Kerala High Court on Thursday, January 27, adjourned till February 2 the hearing in the anticipatory bail plea moved by actor Dileep, in a case against him and five others for allegedly threatening officials probing the actor sexual assault case.
Justice Gopinath P adjourned the case, considering the prosecution submission seeking time for analysing the digital evidence in connection with the probe. Counsel for Dileep then submitted that the interim order preventing his arrest may continue till the date of the next hearing. The court, after taking the views of the prosecution, extended the validity of the interim order till February 2. This comes a day after the Kerala Crime Branch said that Dileep and three others got new phones after the investigation began. The police reportedly found that the new phones were bought on the day the new FIR was filed.
Last Saturday, the court had granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest. As per the court's directive, Dileep and the other accused had appeared before the investigating officers on January 23, 24 and 25 for interrogation. The accused was directed to fully cooperate with the investigation. The court had said director Balachandrakumar, who had recently made some startling revelations against the actor, was an acquaintance of Dileep and has submitted some relevant material to the crime branch which led to the registering of the case.
Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law TN Suraj have also moved the court seeking the same relief.
Read: Dileep audio: By calling it an outburst by actor, is defence saying it is his voice?
On January 9, the Crime Branch registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was telecast by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official. The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offense), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
This apprehension is borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who from the start has been trying to falsely implicate the actor in the sexual assault case, the petition alleged. There are 10 accused in the case and police arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.
Watch TNMâ€™s Anna Isaac explain Dileepâ€™s counter to Balachandrakumarâ€™s allegations: