HC allows re-examination of witnesses in actor sexual assault case

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Earlier the trial court had rejected the plea to re-examine witnesses.

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday allowed re-examination of three witnesses and summoned five additional witnesses in the case relating to the sexual assault of an actress in which Malayalam actor Dileep is among the accused.

Justice Kauser Edappagath allowed the state government’s appeals and struck down the trial court’s orders, declining its pleas to summon several more witnesses and get certified copies of the call detail records of the accused in the actor sexual assault case of 2017.

“The entire exercise of adducing additional evidence allowed as per this order shall be completed within ten days from the date of the receipt of the copy of this order by the court,” the court said.

The director general of prosecution shall see that a new special public prosecutor is deputed or some other alternative arrangement is made to conduct the case on behalf, the court said.

Dileep was represented by advocates Philip T Varghese and Thomas T Varghese.

The trial court, on December 21, had allowed the summoning of the three witnesses and rejected the request for summoning the others.

The prosecution had contended that the lower court was wrong in holding that there was a delay in filing the application seeking the call records and original customer details.

With regard to the summoning of the witnesses, the prosecution has contended that the lower court order rejecting the application for recalling some of the witnesses and allowing summoning of only three, was “illegal and improper and would cause prejudice in arriving at a right decision in the case”.

The victim — an actress who worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films — was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area.

The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress. There are ten accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people.

Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.

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