Actor Dileep, who is accused of masterminding the abduction and sexual assault of a female actor, filed a discharge petition at the additional special sessions court in Ernakulam on Tuesday. In his petition, Dileep, the eighth accused in the case, has sought his name be removed from the accused list.
According to the Times of India, Dileep has also submitted a questionnaire regarding the veracity of the visuals of the sexual assault on the survivor in the case. This comes based on the Supreme Court directive, which said that the actor could get a second opinion from the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFL) to verify the authenticity of the visuals and could formulate questions for the lab.
After examining the controversial visuals of the sexual assault for a third time on December 19, the actor claimed that the visuals are not authentic. While the Supreme Court dismissed his petition seeking a copy of the visuals, the top court allowed him to access the visuals in the presence of an expert and his counsel at the Additional Special Sessions Court in the city.
The preliminary hearing of the defence, before framing charges against the accused, commenced on December 3, 2019. According to a top lawyer associated with the case, the preliminary hearing of all accused, except Dileep, was over. Dileep's arguments are being heard now. On Tuesday evening, as the case came up for consideration at Additional Special Sessions Court, Dileep’s counsel filed the discharge petition.
According to reports, since the case deals with sensitive details pertaining to the female actor, the case will be heard behind closed doors. The court has decided to opt for an in-camera procedure for hearing the petition, which will commence on Wednesday evening.
The case dates back to February 2017, when a prominent female actor was abducted and sexually assaulted and restrained in a moving vehicle in Kochi. The accused men also recorded videos and photos of assault on the survivor. After almost two hours, she was dropped off at a director’s house in the city. The survivor then filed a complaint with the Nedumbassery police the same day. Eventually, 10 persons were named as the accused in the case, with Pulsar Suni being the first accused and Dileep, who masterminded the attack, being the eighth accused.
Even as the trial was set to commence in early 2019, Dileep, who was jailed for almost eight months in 2017, pulled out several tactics to delay it. Demanding a copy of the visuals, he approached various courts until the Supreme Court rejected his plea for the copy on November 29, 2019. While Dileep was allowed to examine the visuals, the SC also directed that the trial must be completed in six months.
The preliminary hearing at the Additional Special CBI Court in Ernakulam is being heard by Justice Honey M Varghese. The survivor had earlier requested for a woman judge to hear the case.