The Kerala High Court on Monday, February 7, granted bail to actor Dileep in the new conspiracy case against him. Though the Prosecution has insisted that granting Dileep bail would impact the faith people have in the judiciary, Judge Gopinath of the Kerala High Court granted the bail and added that the prosecution can apply for arresting the accused at any time, if it is needed. The bail has been given under conditions. "If there is material to suggest that the accused are influencing or intimidating any witnesses despite conditions imposed by this court, that can be a ground to approach this court for cancellation of bail or for the arrest of the accused," the judge's order said.
Appearing for the Kerala police, Director General of Prosecution TA Shaji argued on Friday, February 4, that the nature and gravity of the accusation and the antecedents of the accused should be considered before granting anticipatory bail. He pointed out how the new case has connections with another gruesome case, referring to Dileep's alleged role in masterminding the abduction and sexual assault of a fellow actor. The assault was also recorded on video. "The video clip is intended as a perpetual source of blackmailing, it was a targeted hit. It shows the wickedness of the accused," Shaji said. In the new case, Dileep has been accused of conspiring to harm police officers who investigated the assault case.
The fresh case against Dileep had come up on the basis of a few audio clips released by director Balachandra Kumar, who was known to the actor. Among the clips, the police found incriminating recordings in which the actor and others allegedly planned a conspiracy to murder a few of the officials who investigated the actor assault case of Kerala. Baiju Paulose, DySP and investigating official in the assault case, filed a complaint against Dileep and others, following which the Crime Branch took up the investigation.
The Director General of Prosecution told the court that the moment new allegations against Dileep came up, he and the other accused changed their phone, which is a âstrong indicatorâ of their involvement in the crime. âWhy did they change phones as soon as Balachandra Kumar came into the scene?â
Brushing off allegations of the defence that the fresh case was fabricated by Baiju Paulose, the DGP said that Balachandra Kumar had no connection with the investigating official previously. âBalachandra Kumar is a consistent witness, audio clip is supplementary evidence. If he is found to be a credible witness by a court of law, it can lead to a conviction. He was there when the conspiracy was hatched, and he took audio clips. His oral statement is also there,â Shaji argued.
The DGP also told the court that when Dileep and the other accused were brought in for the three-day interrogation, Dileepâs brother-in-law Suraj confessed to the police that âRs 50,000 was given to a pastor to secure Dileepâs bail.â However, the DGP added, when Dileep was cross-questioned about this, Dileep started shouting and said he will not cooperate in the probe.
Advocate Raman Pillai, who appeared on behalf of actor Dileep on Thursday, said that the entire âmurder conspiracyâ case was fabricated. The hearing was held by Justice P Gopinath in the anticipatory bail application moved by actor Dileep and others, in the case where they were booked for conspiring to murder the officers investigating the 2017 sexual assault case.
âAccording to the second complaint, Dileep was overheard planning to kill the Investigating Officer and another officer by running a truck over them. However, there was not any mention of these officers in the FIR and were added by the IO himselfâ, he said and added that âall he said was that if a truck hits this officer, he (Dileep) would have to pay Rs 1.5 crores for that. He was merely hinting that some way or the other it would end up on his (Dileep) headâ.
DGP Shaji appearing for the prosecution sought for the evidence in a sealed cover produced at the court. However, advocate Raman Pillai refused to give access to him stating that the sealed cover given by prosecution is not available to him. Retorting to DGPâs comment âthe last thing we want is to make it easier for you to design further storiesâ, Pillai was heard saying that it was the prosecution who is âpenning a novelâ.
The case was heard for a number of days, and the judge had adjourned it a few times. He even commented a couple of times that there was an impression that the case was being dragged on for too long unnecessarily. The court first started hearing the case on January 14.
The fresh case against Dileep had come up on the basis of a few audio clips released by director Balachandra Kumar, who was known to the actor. Among the clips, the police found incriminating recordings in which the actor and others allegedly planned a conspiracy to murder a few of the officials who investigated the woman actorâs assault case. Baiju Paulose, DySP and investigating official in the assault case, filed a complaint against Dileep and others, following which the Crime Branch took up the investigation.
As soon as the case came up, Dileep had approached the High Court for his anticipatory bail. The court had prevented his arrest for so many days but allowed the police to interrogate all the accused for three days. During the interrogation, it turned out that Dileep and the others had got new phones which they bought on the day the fresh FIR was filed. The investigating officials asked for the phones previously used by the accused, which they refused to surrender. Following this, the police went to court to direct the accused to give up their phones. It took a few days for the accused to bring it before the court, saying that they had sent the phones to Mumbai for forensic examination. Even so, not all the phones that the police asked for were submitted.
The court, on receiving the phones, did not however let the prosecution have it. After listening to the accusedâs counsel, the judge ordered the phones to be placed before the Aluva judicial magistrate. The magistrate too didnât let the police have it but ordered the phones to be taken to forensic experts in Thiruvananthapuram.