It has almost been three years since a female actor in Kerala was assaulted in a moving car by a group of men. On January 30, Thursday, the trial in the case will finally commence at the Additional Special CBI Court in Ernakulam.
The trial was initially set to commence in May 2019. However, it was stayed in May 2019 by the Supreme Court after Malayalam actor Dileep, the eighth accused in the case, filed an appeal, seeking a copy of the memory card, which contains the visuals of the sexual assault.
The preliminary hearing in the case commenced in December. On January 6, the trial court framed the charges against Dileep, prime accused Pulsar Suni and eight others.
Although Dileep filed a discharge plea, seeking to relieve his name from the list of accused, the additional sessions court rejected the plea.
However, on Monday, in another attempt to delay the trial, Dileep approached the Kerala High Court and filed a discharge petition once again. He also sought a separate trial in the case against Pulsar Suni — the first accused in the case — for allegedly threatening him. Dileep had argued that he is a victim in this case and that it cannot be considered along with the actor assault case.
The prosecution in the female actor assault case, on Wednesday, however, argued that Pulsar Suni had called Dileep from the jail to talk about the financial settlement in the actor assault case as Dileep had allegedly given a quotation to Suni to assault the female actor.
Dileep had pointed out that as per the chargesheet, Suni threatened him. Agreeing that Suni made a call to Dileep, the prosecution, however, said that the 'phone call to threaten' was not mentioned in the first chargesheet. The prosecution also said that mentioning the details of the phone call in the second chargesheet was a technical error.
“Pulsar Suni managed to get a mobile phone and he was continuously trying to get in touch with Dileep through calls and messages. This itself shows that they were in touch with each other earlier, too. Suni contacted Dileep for the settlement of money. There is no doubt about it. The accused has fabricated the allegation just to delay the trial proceedings,” said a senior lawyer associated with the case.
The case will be heard by Justice Honey M Varghese, as the survivor had earlier requested for a woman judge to hear the case. The Supreme Court also directed that the trial in the case should be concluded ]within six months.
Supreme Court directed had for a fast track trial in the case that it should be completed within six months.