Rape of south Indian actress: Three years on, survivor seeks transfer of case

The actress was allegedly abducted by a group of men and raped. The heinous act was video recorded by the accused. Malayalam Actor Dileep is a co-accused in the case

Rape
In a petition submitted in the High Court on October 27, requesting transfer of the case, the survivor raises serious allegations against the trial court.

While the trial pertaining to abduction and rape of a South Indian actress is in progress, the case has become murky with serious allegations raised by the survivor and the public prosecutor.

The survivor has gone to the extent of seeking to call off the trial and transfer the case to another court. The case is that the leading South Indian actress was abducted by a group of men on her way back home from work in February 2017. She was allegedly raped and the same heinous act was video recorded by the accused. Malayalam Actor Dileep was arrested in connection with the conspiracy in the crime. The trial has been proceeding in the additional sessions court at Ernakulam.

In a petition submitted in the High Court on October 27, requesting transfer of the case, the survivor raises serious allegations against the trial court, which are as follows:

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1.      The copy of the forensic report (submitted by Central Forensic Science Laboratory) was handed over to the counsel for 8thaccused (actor Dileep who has allegedly conspired and commissioned the first accused to commit rape and video record the act) directly on a day when there was no posting for the trial, without notice to the prosecution.

2.      The trial judge sat like a mute spectator when the survivor was allowed to be ‘examined and harassed’ by the counsel for Dileep.

3.      The trial court has failed to record certain portions of the testimonies deposed by the survivor ‘deliberately and without any lawful justification’. It is also alleged that repeated prayer by the public prosecutor to record the same had fallen on deaf ears.

4.      The court failed to restrict the number of lawyers for the accused present inside the court hall when the petitioner was examined and thus failed to uphold the spirit of the in-camera trial.

5.      Though the prosecution has submitted a petition for a change of court, the same was kept pending the proceedings went on. Repeated submissions on the same from the prosecution were ignored.

6.      The public prosecutor’s prayer to cancel the bail of Dileep for violating the bail conditions also were kept pending. No decision has been taken on the same yet.

7.      The judge has read out an anonymous letter containing scandalous remarks against the public prosecutor as well as the investigating agency, in the court. This happened when the witness, the prosecution team and counsel for defence were present in the court.

8.      A petition filed by the public prosecutor on October 15 to stop the proceedings for all the above mentioned reasons also was kept pending.

Also read: What gag orders on media in sexual abuse trials take away

In the above mentioned petition submitted by the special public prosecutor Adv Suresan on October 15 in the trial court asking to call off the trial, he alleges that the trial court judge has made derogatory remarks against him. According to Suresan, the court had read over an anonymous letter in the open court on 14.10.2020 by about 1.45 pm when the special public prosecutor went out of the court hall after the chief examination of the witness was over, and when the witness, the counsel for the accused as well as the investigating officer and officials assisting the prosecution were present in the court. The court has also made some remarks and allegations against him and the investigating agency. In his petition he alleged that the conduct of the court is highly biased which is detrimental to the judicial system and to the entire prosecution. ‘The prosecution believes that justice will be denied to the victim in this case, if this case is tried before this court’ says the petition.

The trial of the victim was done in a highly stressed situation, says the prosecutor.  “The trust and faith of the judicial system should not be lost in any manner. Levelling wild allegations in open court against the prosecution, and the special public prosecutor based upon anonymous letters, and other reports capable of giving wrong inclinations in the minds of the both the prosecution and defense as well as the society, which is following the case diligently may not be good for the system” states the petition submitted by the public prosecutor to the trial court.

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