Why can’t you submit phones: Kerala HC asks Dileep in conspiracy to kill cops case

The case concerns an alleged conspiracy by actor Dileep and others to murder police officials investigating the Kerla actor assault case.
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The Kerala High Court will once again hear the application for recovering actor Dileep's phone, along with those of the other accused in a conspiracy case, on Saturday, January 29. The conspiracy case concerns an alleged plan to murder police officials investigating the Kerala actor assault case in which Dileep is an accused. The Kerala police filed the application after Dileep refused to submit his previous mobile phones during the course of the investigation. The actor's anticipatory bail plea in the case is posted for hearing for Wednesday, February 1, before which the prosecution moved the application for recovery of phones. 

Dileep and six others accused in the conspiracy case were questioned for three days between January 22 and 24, following a Kerala High Court order, which also disallowed the arrest of the accused until the hearing on February 1. It was during the questioning that the police sought the phones of the accused. The police discovered that the phones submitted were used only in January 2022, and demanded for the ones used earlier. When Dileep refused, they moved the application in the court, to direct the accused to surrender the device(s).

On Friday, January 28, Justice Gopinath P heard the application and asked what Dileep's "apprehension" was in handing over the phones to the investigating officers. Dileep's advocate Raman Pillai said that the phones were already sent for "forensic examination" in the actor sexual assault case. Claiming that all of Dileep's phone records were with the Session Court (which is hearing the actor assault case), the advocate said that the forensic examination was for retrieving all the data.

The judge pointed out that the phones maybe "tampered with" by forensic experts and that the accused can't refuse to submit it. The prosecution said that the accused was not cooperating with the investigation despite the protection from arrest given by this court. The condition of disallowing the arrest was that the accused fully cooperate with the investigation.

The judge agreed with the Director General of Prosecution TA Shaji prima facie that the "argument of self-incriminating material" does not stand. Asianet News reported Dileep's counsel as having said that he did not want to submit the phones since it was a breach of privacy and contained conversations with his former wife, actor Manju Warrier. Raman Pillai also argued that the phones that were allegedly used during the time of the conspiracy were already submitted to forensic experts.

When the judge repeatedly asked what is the danger in submitting the phones at the court, Dileep's counsel said that it will become a precedent. The matter was postponed to Saturday.

Watch: Why the new allegations against Dileep are important

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