Dileep’s brother Anoop had detailed notes on sexual assault video, prosecution to HC

Among the digital data retrieved as part of probing, are photographs showing second-by-second commentary of visuals of the sexual assault on the survivor.
Dileep with policemen
Dileep with policemen
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Citing crucial evidence uncovered in the past few months and the need for more work, the prosecution in the Kerala actor assault case of 2017 has asked the High Court for more time to finish the investigation. Among the digital data retrieved as part of further probe, the police have apparently recovered certain photographs from the phone of Anoop, brother of accused actor Dileep. The photos contain detailed second-by-second commentary of the visuals of the sexual assault on the survivor in February 2017, which was recorded in a video by the main accused, Pulsar Suni. When he was questioned about it, Anoop stated that he photographed the notes made by Dileep’s counsel. Sources in the prosecution say that it is questionable that such a detailed account of the visuals can be made by Dileep’s counsels, when the accused along with his advocates were allowed to watch the visuals only in the court. The prosecution argues that Dileep either had the original visuals of the attack or a copy of it, or such a detailed account including time codes in the video could not be noted down.

“The digital data retrieved from the mobile phone of Anoop (Dileep’s brother) shows the photographs of the print in which the second-by-second commentary of the visuals of the sexual assault on the survivor is described,” the plea says.

The case which began in February 2017, immediately after the sexual assault on a prominent actor, gained attention when another popular actor, Dileep, was accused to have masterminded it. The attack on the survivor had also been recorded on video, which was stored in a memory card and kept sealed in several courts through the years. The trial of the case which began nearly three years later, was nearing completion when Balachandrakumar, a director who was closely acquainted with Dileep, produced incriminating audio clips and became a witness. This led the police to ask for further investigation into the case that the court allowed.

The prosecution in its new plea for more time has attached the forensic report from the State Forensic Science Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram. The report prepared in January 2020 based on a query posed by Judge Honey Varghese states that the last time the memory card was accessed was on December 13, 2018, after the original video was recorded on February 17, 2017.

Screenshot of FSL lab report on memory card access

The prosecution has told the High Court that an investigation is necessary to find how the memory card with the sexual assault visuals was accessed on December 13, 2018 and whether it was accessed illegally on other dates too, as the memory card was in the Ernakulam Sessions Court’s safe custody.  

Only days ago, Judge Honey Verghese of the trial court had dismissed a plea by the investigating officer, asking for a forensic report on the number of times the memory card was accessed after it was submitted to the court. This plea was submitted as investigating officer Baiju Poulose found that the forensic science lab in Thiruvananthapuram had received a query from the trial court judge, about the access of the memory card. It was also found that the lab had replied to the judge, with a report stating that the last access was made on December 13, 2018, after the original video was recorded on February 17, 2017. But the judge did not inform them of such a report, the prosecution has alleged.  

In its petition to the High Court, the prosecution has called the judge’s behavior ‘strange and surprising’.

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The petition mentions many other details of the further investigation including tampering or irrecoverable deleting of data on the phones of Dileep and his associates, it was found by examining the witness Sai Shankar, a cyber-expert who spoke up last month about his role in the case.

Another evidence points to the amount of Rs 1 lakh that Dileep had allegedly handed over to Pulsar Suni, the prime accused in the case on November 1, 2015. The police found the amount deposited in Pular Suni’s account on November 2, 2015 and that Dileep withdrew the exact amount on October 31, 2015.

The court had earlier permitted further investigation in the case after fresh revelations rose in the case towards the end of last year. However, the investigating officials had found quite a large amount of digital data that they will need time to expertly analyse, says the new petition, filed at the court on May 27, three days before the previous deadline to finish the probe. The new petition asks for three months more to complete the investigation.

The prosecution also states that the police has collected evidence of Pulsar Suni having worked as driver to Kavya Madhavan, Dileep’s wife, earlier. The number that was used by Dileep to communicate with Balachandrakumar was also found to belong to Kavya, the petition states, though she had denied it during questioning by police earlier this month.  

At multiple places, the petition gives account of the huge number of files and data found from phones of the accused – including Dileep, Anoop and their brother-in-law Suraj – to explain the need for more time to investigate. “The retrieved data from the mobile phones which is stored in a hard disk contains more than 12814 pages, and includes 6682 videos, 10879 audio clips, 65384 images, 779 documents etc,” the petition says. A couple more phones were still to be found and examined.

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