Kerala High Court defers Dileep's anticipatory bail plea hearing to Jan 18


Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday deferred actor Dileep's anticipatory bail plea filed in connection with the recent case registered against him for allegedly threatening officers who investigated the 2017 case pertaining to the sexual assault of a young actor for which the former has been arraigned earlier along with a few others.

The high court will consider the case again on Tuesday (January 18). It has restricted the police from arresting the actor till then.

The court will pronounce its verdict after hearing the explanation of the government on the matter. The court has also sought to examine the statement of filmmaker Balachandrakumar whose revelations against Dileep has led to the latest case. It has asked the police not to take any action against Dileep, in connection with the case, till it decides on the plea.

Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law T N Suraj had also moved the high court seeking the same relief.

Dileep, meanwhile, requested the trial court to keep the visuals of the assault on the survivor actor in its custody. He filed a plea in this regard in the special court where the trial has been going on. Dileep claims that the visuals are with investigation officer Baiju Poulose.

The Crime Branch wing of Kerala Police had on Thursday raided the homes of the actor and his brother and also the office of his Grand Production company here in connection with the latest case. The police seized two iPads, three mobile phones and a hard disk after a raid that lasted seven hours.

According to sources, the raids were carried out on the basis of court orders and the statement given to the Crime Branch by Balachandrakumar.

The court had on Tuesday asked the police not to take any action against Dileep, in connection with a new case, till January 14.

During the brief hearing on Tuesday, advocate Philip T Varghese, appearing for the actor, told the court that the present case has been lodged on a complaint by one of the investigating officers in the actor sexual assault case as the officer did not want to be examined during trial.

The lawyer contended that only the complainant officer remained to be examined in the ongoing trial of the sexual assault case and to delay or prevent the same, the latest complaint against the actor was made.

The anticipatory bail plea was strongly opposed by the prosecution, represented by senior government pleader Saju, which contended that the allegations against the actor were very grave.

Case registered for threatening officer

The Crime Branch had on Sunday registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel recently in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.

The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).

The joint plea moved by all three has claimed that the complaint made against them by the officer -- DySP (Crime Branch) Baiju Paulose -- was "false".

They have contended that the allegations in the FIR, registered on the base of the complaint, are "wholly false and baseless".

The actor and his relatives have also alleged, in the petition, that the intention behind registration of the case was to take them into custody and humiliate them before the public.

This apprehension is borne out from the past conduct of the complainant officer who right from the start has been trying to falsely implicate the actor in the sexual assault case, the petition has alleged.

The victim - who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films - was abducted and allegedly raped inside her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actor.

There are 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.

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