The Kerala High Court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to actor Dileep in the case related to charges of attempt to kill police officers investigating the 2017 actress sexual assault case against the South Indian actor.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Gopinath P observed that the prosecution’s apprehensions regarding non-cooperation with the investigation can be addressed by imposing conditions. If at any point of time, the prosecution felt that the conditions were being violated, then they can apply for arresting the accused, it added.
Dileep and his associates were already under trial at the Additional Sessions (CBI special No III) Court in Ernakulam for allegedly planning and executing a revenge crime against a prominent actress by having her abducted, sexually assaulted and photographed in a moving vehicle.
The trial, which has seen its share of controversies, was nearing completion, when film director Balachandra Kumar gave an interview and released some audio clips indicating close association between Dileep, the 8th accused in the case, and Pulsar Suni, the 1st accused.
The clips and Kumar’s statements also revealed a conspiracy to kill the police officers who were involved in the investigation.
This led to registration of a fresh first information report (FIR) against Dileep and five others for offences punishable under Sections 116 (offering bribe to public servant), 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Dileep, his brother and his brother-in law, represented by Senior Advocate B Raman Pillai and advocates Philip T Varghese, Thomas T Varghese, Achu Shubha Abraham, Litha VT, Monisha KR and Nitya R, approached the Court seeking anticipatory bail.
The Court had previously granted them interim anticipatory bail while directing them to appear for 33 hours of interrogation over 3 days as well as to hand over some of their old mobile phones first to the High Court Registry and then to the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Aluva.
The prosecution, led by Director General of Prosecution, Senior Advocate TA Shaji instructed by Senior Public Prosecutor P Narayanan, had vehemently argued that custodial interrogation of the accused would be absolutely essential due to their lack of co-operation and ability to tamper with evidence and manipulate witnesses.