Kerala HC gives Crime Branch time till May 30 to complete probe in actress assault case

The high court on March 8 had dismissed Dileep's plea opposing further investigation in the 2017 actress assault case and given the agency time till April 15 to complete the probe.
Kerala HC gives Crime Branch time till May 30 to complete probe in actress assault case
Kerala High CourtPTI

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday extended till May 30 the time for the Crime Branch to complete its further investigation in the 2017 actress assault case.

The court had on March 8 given the agency time till April 15 to complete the probe in the case.

''I am inclined to grant some time,'' Justice Kauser Edappagath said during hearing of an application moved by the Crime Branch seeking three more months to complete its inquiry in the case.

While granting the time, the court also noted that contents of the application moved by the agency for extension of time was published in the print media even before it was filed in the high court or even seen by it.

''It is unfortunate that the general public came to know about the contents of the application even before the court saw it. You (DGP) check it up. Find out how that happened,'' the judge said.

The court, thereafter, directed that contents of applications or affidavits filed in relation to the case in the high court ''be not divulged or disclosed to anyone, including the media.'' It further directed that ''all material collected by the investigating agency during the course of investigation be kept confidential and not be divulged or disclosed to anyone, including the media''.

The high court asked Director General of Prosecution (DGP) T A Shaji to ensure its directions were ''honoured in letter and spirit''.

Actor Dileep, represented by advocate Philip T Varghese, had opposed the extension of time on the ground that the court had already fixed a specific time period and that the investigating agency was ''unnecessarily protracting the investigation to harass'' him.

Justice Edappagath, however, said, ''I am of the view that some more time can be granted. The time is extended till May 30th.'' It also orally said that further time would not be granted after May 30.

The high court on March 8 had dismissed Dileep's plea opposing further investigation in the 2017 actress assault case and given the agency time till April 15 to complete the probe.

The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some persons 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 those persons to blackmail the actress.

There are 10 accused in the 2017 case and police have arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.

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