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The trial in the controversial actress attack case commenced at a special court on Thursday, just a month short of three years after the incident happened on the outskirts of Kochi in Kerala.

All eleven accused, including Mollywood star Dileep, the eighth accused are present at the court which is being held in camera. The first to be examined was the survivor actress who will be through the process for four days from January 30, to February 3. The court has scheduled the first phase of witness examination from January 30 to April 7. The court will examine 137 witnesses in total.

On January 6, the trial court had framed charges against Dileep and other accused in the case. The Court had dismissed a plea filed by Dileep, seeking to exclude him from the list of accused. The Court had admitted the prosecution argument that there is prima facie evidence against him in the crime and dismissed the plea of the actor, who is eighth accused in the case. The court had also not allowed a plea by the actor to grant him 10 days time to file the appeal in a higher court in the light of the Supreme Court order in November 2019 that the trial should be completed in six months.

The court is hearing the case in-camera. On December 19 last year, Dileep, along with his lawyers and a technical expert, had examined the contents of the electronic records at the closed room of the court. Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed that the actor be allowed to inspect the records to enable him to present an effective defence during the trial.

In February 2017, the actress was allegedly abducted and molested by the accused. In a moving car as she was returning from truchur, after finishing a film shoot to her home in Kochi.

—India Legal Bureau

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