The Crime Branch in Kerala that is probing a case against actor Dileep and his family for allegedly hatching to kill the police officers who investigated the 2017 actor abduction and assault case have vehemently opposed the anticipatory bail plea filed by the actor. In a 68-page statement filed before the Kerala High Court, the Kerala police said that for the first time in history, a gang has been hired to commit a sexual offense and that first time in history that there has been a â€ścriminal conspiracy to harm even the life of investigating officers.â€ť
Stating that Dileep has â€śattempted to thwart the legal process at each and every stage of the proceedings of the case,â€ť the Kerala police submitted to the Kerala High Court that Dileep, accused of masterminding the sexual assault, has approached courts with â€śflimsy and frivolous cases,â€ť to try and â€śextricate himself from the clutches of law.â€ť
â€ś...at every stages of the case, the first petitioner and his men have been trying to put spoke on the wheels of the legal process and at the same time now he is clamouring that it is the prosecution which is trying to protract the proceedings,â€ť the police said.
The Kerala police added that Dileep has contributed to the resignations of special prosecutors from the case and 20 witnesses turning hostile in the case. Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) VK Anilkumar, who had been representing the survivor for a year, handed in his resignation recently. Last year, SPP A Suresan had resigned as well, alleging that Judge Honey Verghese, who is hearing the case, was biased in her approach.
â€śIt is also pertinent to submit here that the Special Prosecutors appointed by the State had to submit resignation alleging that the atmosphere in the court is not congenial, to which the contribution of the 1st petitioner (Dileep) herein is explicit. As many as 20 prosecution witnesses have turned hostile in an effort to help the first petitioner herein, who is the 8th accused in the case. The clear role of the first petitioner and his men are revealed in managing things in that direction,â€ť the Kerala police said in its response to Dileepâ€™s anticipatory bail plea.
The police said that the new investigation against Dileep is at an initial stage and startling relevations related to the case that have recently been made by film director Balachandrakumar need to be examined. Balachandrakumar, who said he was a friend of Dileep, recently released audio clips in which a voice, which allegedly belonging to Dileep's brother-in-law Suraj, who can be heard talking about a conspiracy to murder the investigating official and Deputy Superintendent Baiju Paulose. The conversation, allegedly between Suraj and Dileep, took place in November 2017 at the latter's house in Aluva. He also alleged that Dileep had access to visuals of the sexual assault, even before he and his lawyers watched it at the magistrateâ€™s chamber in 2017.
After the new revelations, the Kerala police filed a second non-bailable case against Dileep, his brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law TN Suraj. Dileep and his relatives moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail, and the Kerala police have opposed this, stating that custodial interrogation is â€śabsolutely necessaryâ€ť to unearth the truth about the new allegations.
In a conspiracy case, the police told the Kerala High Court, it is usually difficult to get direct evidence, â€śbut this is a case wherein direct evidence of a person who has witnessed the conspiracy has come forward and given statement to the police regarding the commission of offence by the petitioners.â€ť
â€śThe allegations against Dileep are very peculiar and serious in nature, â€śespecially since the criminal conspiracy has been hatched to commit heinous offence against the police officers involved in the investigation of a serious crime.â€ť
The police added that Dileep is highly affluent and influential, and is â€ścapable of protracting and interfering with the legal process. The Kerala police insisted said that the interrogation and investigation in the case would be â€średuced to a mere ritualâ€ť if Dileep gets anticipatory bail.
â€śSuccess in such interrogation would elude if the suspected person knows that he is well-protected and insulated by a pre-arrest bail order during the time he is interrogated. Very often interrogation in such a condition would reduce to a mere ritual. The custodial interrogation alone would yield results unlike a situation where petitioners are armed with an order of anticipatory bail,â€ť the police said.
The police added that the petitioners are very influential and are capable of interfering with the investigation and influencing witnesses.
â€śThe materials now collected by the investigating agency would indicate the dangerous state of affairs wherein the life of the police officers who bonafide discharged their official responsibilities to conduct criminal investigation are under threat. They are entitled to be insulated against the nefarious designs of criminal elements,â€ť the police added.
â€śIt is not an ordinary case of criminal conspiracy to commit an offence. It is a case of commission of criminal conspiracy to do away with the police officers who happened to be the investigating officers of a case in which one of the petitioners is found to be the king pin. If the petitioners are granted the order of pre-arrest bail, the entire investigation in the case will be sabotaged,â€ť the police added.
The Kerala High Court is scheduled to hear Dileepâ€™s anticipatory bail plea on Friday, January 21. Dileep was arrested in 2017 and lodged in prison in a case related to a gang sexually assaulting a frontline actor of South Indian movies and filming the scenes. After two months in jail, he was released on bail. The High Court is also hearing a separate plea filed by Dileep to prohibit media reporting in actor assault case.