On January 4, 2022, while hearing a case involving the abduction and sexual assault of a leading actress, Kochi Court directed the police to investigate a shocking revelation by a film director that actor Dileep, one of the accused, had accessed the visual content of the assault before it was even produced in court. The director has accused Dileep of influencing the witnesses by watching and sharing the video of the assault with a group of friends even before it was submitted to the court.
In an interview last week, film director Balachandrakumar told a Malayalam TV channel that the accused, Dileep, had allegedly seen the video of the sexual assault at his home. Also, according to the director, Dileep was close friends with the first accused, Sunil Kumar alias Pulsar Suni. Just after the disclosure, the investigating team recorded the director's statement.
In this case, a female actor was kidnapped and sexually assaulted on her way back to Kochi in 2017. Dileep, a Malayalam actor, is one of the eight accused in this case. He was arrested in July 2017 and released on bail two months later. Dileep was arrested in the car for kidnapping and molesting the actress.
When the case came up for hearing on January 4, 2022, the trial ordered the police to investigate the disclosure and submit the report by January 20. Meanwhile, the court had yet to rule on the prosecution's request that a new investigation into the 2017 sensational case be conducted based on new revelations by the director, Balachandrakumar.
The new allegation against Dileep and the prosecution's request for an investigation come as the trial court's six-month extension, conferred by the Supreme Court in August last year, is set to expire next month. According to a previous order of the Supreme Court, the trial should have concluded in February of last year. After the trial court brought up the pandemic issue, the Supreme Court extended the trial by six months in August of last year.
In addition, special prosecutor VN Anil Kumar resigned from the case last week, submitting his resignation to Director General of Prosecution T A Shaji. The special prosecutor walked out of court on December 29, 2021, when the district court asked him to submit his application for postponing the examination of investigating officer Baiju Poulose in writing. Even though a decision on his resignation is pending before the government, the special prosecutor was not present in the trial court on January 4, 2022.
The first prosecutor resigned from the case just days after the High Court rejected the survivor's petition to substitute the Trial Court Judge. This is the second time this year that the case's prosecutor has resigned from such a high-profile case.
Aside from the prosecution, the victim of the assault contended that the trial court was prejudiced. The Hon'ble High Court then stated that "if the trial court and the prosecutor do not work in tandem, the guilty will escape the clutches of the law or the innocent will end up being punished."