Kerala actor assault: HC directs state forensic lab to analyze memory card

When the actor was assaulted in a vehicle in February 2017, the main accused Pulsar Suni had captured this on camera.
Actor Dileep with police personnel around him
Actor Dileep with police personnel around him
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The Kerala High Court has asked the Kerala State Forensic Science laboratory to analyse the memory card containing visuals of the Kerala actor assault and submit a report to the Investigating Officer. The HC has set aside an order by the Ernakulam Additional Special Sessions court judge Honey Verghese disallowing the police’s request. The HC has also asked the lab to submit a report within seven days in a sealed cover to the court. The HC order was passed by Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, on Tuesday, July 5, while hearing a petition filed by the Kerala Crime Branch.

According to LiveLaw, the court has also said that the prosecution should wind up the case as per the time allotted and should not cause any further delay. Earlier in May, Judge Honey M Varghese had dismissed a petition by the investigating officer seeking examination of the memory card to check if the contents were accessed after it was submitted at the court. When the actor was assaulted in a vehicle in February 2017, the main accused Pulsar Suni had captured this on camera. These visuals have been in the custody of various courts since 2017. However, there has been a fear that the visuals had been illegally accessed from court.

The investigating officers found that Judge Honey Verghese had previously sought details from the forensic lab about the memory card as well as the number of times it was accessed. The lab had also given a report saying that it was accessed once, illegally, between March 2018 and March 2019. But the judge had not disclosed this in court.

When the prosecution went to court asking for a re-examination, Judge Honey rejected the appeal and remarked that the purpose of the petition was unintelligible and can be treated only as "ill-conceived and ill-motivated". Both the prosecution and the survivor had criticized this order, the survivor even questioned the judge’s integrity in her petition.

The survivor actor submitted a plea at the HC saying that the judge had neither recorded this instance nor communicated this to any of the parties involved, including investigative officers. Pointing out that this was a grave misconduct, she said, “By keeping it secret whether she obtained any benefits is also to be investigated.”

The survivor actor was sexually assaulted in February 2017 by a man named ‘Pulsar’ Suni with the help of his accomplices, the act which was also videotaped with an intent of blackmailing her. The assault was allegedly masterminded by top Malayalam actor Dileep, who is named as accused number 8 in the case.

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