After the Kerala High Court extended his judicial custody for the third time, actor Dileep, the eleventh accused in the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a woman actor, has now approached the doors of the HC again.
In a bail application filed through Advocate Raman Pillai associates on Thursday, Dileep claimed that there was a conspiracy by certain powerful people in the film industry to frame him in the case, thereby destroying his career.
"A large-scale conspiracy hatched by a small and powerful section of film industry and certain others who could manage police, media and political leaders to spread utter falsehood and malicious stories about the petitioner for months together, which ultimately resulted in the petitioner being falsely implicated and arrayed as accused no. 11 in the crime," reads a portion of the bail application.
The application argues that Dileep, whose "spotless career was the result of persistent hard work and unconditional love and benevolence of common people", was in fact branded and paraded as a villain overnight.
The bail application claims that such a conspiracy had taken place not because Dileep had any "involvement in the transactions of the case," but because certain persons had thought it fit that this was the only way to defeat and destroy Dileep, the actor.
"Dileep is the victim of an orchestrated media campaign and proceedings of a group of police officials acting on the preconceived notion of guilt and wanting to implicate him as an accused in the case," reads the bail application.
On what basis has Dileep asked for bail?
Arguing that Dileep was not the kingpin of any conspiracy, the application says that Dileep did not know prime accused Pulsar Suni at all. Pointing out that his continued detention will not serve any more purpose in the investigation, the bail application argues that the previous impediments for denying him bail, are now solved.
Earlier, the Kerala High Court had denied him bail citing that Appunni, Dileep's driver who, according to the police, had been in constant touch with Pulsar Suni even after his arrest, was absconding.
The court had then denied him bail citing that the memory card which is said to have the video of the assault had not been recovered and that Dileep was likely to tamper with the evidence if he was let off on bail. The court had then observed that Dileep, being an influential person in the film industry, might also influence the witnesses in the case.
However, in the latest bail application he filed after being in custody for a month, Dileep points out that he has not, at any point in the investigation, tried to influence any witness and argues that there is no "justification for his continued detention."
In the bail application, he also argues that at the time Dileep was arrested in the case on July 10, he was actively engaged in multiple cinematic projects. Ram Leela, Kumara Sambhavam, and Professor Dinkan are the films Dileep had committed prior to his arrest.
The application says that the combined budget of all these films runs into more than Rs 50 Crore and that he had accepted payment in advance. His continued detention will affect the release of these films, which will have a "catastrophic effect on the lives of many people connected with these movies."