Justice P Gopinathan said there is a vast amount of material to go through beforehand, and that a ‘patient hearing’ can be conducted on Saturday.

Actor Dileep in a maroon shirt, looking to the left of the camera
news Actor Assault Case Friday, January 21, 2022 - 12:20

The Kerala High Court is set to hear the anticipatory bail petition of actor Dileep, accused in the 2017 actor abduction and assault case, on Saturday, January 22. The hearing will take place physically, despite the court going virtual due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Dileep had moved the High Court on January 17, after a case was booked against him for allegedly threatening the officers investigating the 2017 case.

Justice P Gopinathan, who is hearing the matter, said that the special sitting will be conducted on Saturday not because it is a sensational case, but because there is a vast amount of material to go through beforehand. "Not that this case is more important than others, but I hear there is a counter-affidavit and a lot of material to go through. We can have a patient hearing tomorrow and decide the matter accordingly,” he said on Friday, January 21, according to LiveLaw. Both the counsels have agreed on the matter.

On Thursday, the Kerala Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, filed a 68-page affidavit with the court, strongly opposing Dileep's anticipatory bail. The police argued that this was the first time in history that a gang was hired to commit a sexual offense, and the first time that there has been a “criminal conspiracy to harm even the life of investigating officers.” They also alleged that as many as 20 witnesses in the case have turned hostile, and that two Special Prosecutors who quit within the last year, said that the “atmosphere in the court is not congenial”.

Read: Kerala police oppose Dileep's bail plea, allege 20 witnesses in case influenced by him

Dileep, his brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law TN Suraj had approached the court after a non-bailable case was registered against them by the Crime Branch of Kerala Police. The FIR was filed after an audio clip in which a voice, which reportedly belongs to Suraj, is heard talking about an alleged conspiracy to murder Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Baiju Paulose, who is also the investigating officer in the case.

Read: Timeline: The sexual assault case of an actor that continues to rock Kerala

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