Actress assault case survivor approaches HC saying move to derail probe on

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Kochi: The 35-year-old actor-survivor who was abducted and sexually assaulted by a gang in her car in 2017 has approached the Kerala High Court raising fears that a move to derail the probe is on. This coincides with the Crime Branch ending further investigation and submitting additional chargesheet naming one more accused on the charge of destroying the evidence.

In her petition, the erstwhile leading actor alleged ulterior motives behind the move to end the probe. She also suspected political pressure behind the Crime Branch decision.

In her plea the actor sought the court's intervention to secure justice.

Pointing to the bid to torpedo the case, the actor also cited the Crime Branch decision not to question the defence lawyers despite their bid to influence witnesses as proved by available evidence.

"The trial judge is bound to conduct a fair trial to do justice to the petitioner who is the victim in the case. She believes that actor Dileep, one of the accused in the case and a highly influential figure, exerted undue influence on all the authorities concerned to deny justice," the complainant's petition read.

It is alleged by certain quarters that a strong lobby in the police force is trying to scuttle the probe in order to favour Dileep, who is regarded as the mastermind of the crime that has come to be known as the actor assault case in media.

Such an apprehension arose after S Sreejith, who was supervising the investigation in the case, was recently removed from the post of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of the Crime Branch.

She also brought to attention the matter of the memory card and how it was tampered.

"Since it is clear from records that the illegal access/tampering of the memory card was done when it was in judicial custody, it is the legal liability and responsibility of the trial court to see that an investigation in this matter is highly necessary to ensure fair trial," the complainant's petition read.

Accusing the trial Judge for not taking any action to find out who is the culprit who tampered the memory card, she urged the court to issue order directing "a thorough investigation" which will see "stringent action against the persons involved".

Earlier, in a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the actor had alleged the trial court judge Honey M Varghese was trying to hush up many facts in the case. She even claimed publicly that the trial in the case turned out to be another kind of harassment for her.

A Thrissur-based organisation, Jana Neethi, also previously wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, seeking the removal of the trial court judge. Though a legal battle was fought by the government and others up to the level of the Supreme Court earlier raising the same demand, it was rejected.

The High Court had allowed Honey M Varghese to continue as the trial court judge as per the Supreme Court ruling to this effect. The court allowed her to continue in the post by excluding her this time from the routine transfer applicable to judicial officers every three years.

As reported earlier, those who support the assaulted actor are also seeking an inquiry into the alleged interference of former DGP (Law and Order) Lokanath Behera and DIG Sanjaykumar Gurudin in the case. 

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