Assault case: Justice Kauser withdraws from hearing plea of actress

Kerala High Court. Photo: E V Sreekumar.

Kochi: Justice Kauser Edappagath of the Kerala High Court has recused himself from hearing a petition filed by the survivor in the 2017 actress assault incident. Now, a new bench would consider the petition.

In her plea, the popular actress opposed the transfer of the trial to the Principal Sessions Court.

The case, which was considered by the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court, had been transferred to the Ernakulam Special Additional Sessions Court in 2019 after the survivor requested for a woman judge. But now the case has been transferred to the Principal Sessions Court, as per an office memorandum issued by the High Court administrative wing. The survivor has questioned this, while saying it does not conform to provisions of the law.

Justice Kauser had been the Principal Sessions Judge, when the case was transferred from his court in 2019. Earlier, Justice Kauser had recused himself from hearing another petition by the survivor, alleging that the further probe into the case was being subverted and sought it to be held under the High Court supervision.

Meanwhile, Justice A A Ziyad Rahman has posted a plea by the survivor, alleging that the further probe was being subverted, to be considered after the Onam holidays.

The survivor's lawyer said that they are yet to receive the affidavit of actor Dileep, who had joined as party to the case. Her counsel also informed that a copy of the report submitted in court by the probe team on completion of the further investigation was also not received.

Meanwhile, the trial court has posted to August 24 the hearing on the petitions filed by the survivor and the prosecution against transferring the trial to the Principal Sessions Court. This was done while taking into account that the survivor had filed a petition in the High Court with the same demand.

The contempt of court plea filed by the defence against a private channel was also posted to August 24.

Amid this, the first accused Pulsar Suni has submitted a plea in the trial court while claiming that the survivor was trying to delay the trial proceedings and that he should be granted bail.

The court has also directed to issue notices to the government and a news channel over a plea filed by Dileep, alleging that probe officer Baiju Paulose was leaking the court document to the media.

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