Actor Dileep, sexual assault case
Actor Dileep

Assault case: Survivor used Barkha Dutt interview as a ploy, says Dileep in SC

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Malayalam actor Dileep, who is the 8th accused in the case of the abduction and rape of a female actor, moved the Supreme court, raising serious allegations against the survivor, his former wife-actor Manju Warrier and a senior police officer.

In the petition, Dileep said he was “falsely roped in as an accused by a small, but powerful and influential section in the Malayalam film industry out of personal vengeance and professional rivalry”.

Dileep, in the petition, said the high-ranked police officer is close to his ex-wife and the survivor.

Dileep said the demand for further investigation in the case was only an attempt by the prosecution to delay the trial. He alleged that the prosecution had been trying to extend the time of the trial with an intention to delay it until the presiding officer (who is alleged by the prosecution for being biased towards the accused) gets transferred to a higher court.

In the petition, Dileep wanted the Supreme Court to direct the trial court to resume the trial at the earliest and complete the same within the prescribed time frame.

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He also requested the court to pass appropriate orders to the trial court that the report of the further investigation (submitted on July 22) shall not be used in the trial as fresh investigation report. The petition also sought an order prohibiting the recalling of the witnesses who had already been examined.

The petition raised several accusations against the survivor, who was allegedly abducted and raped in a moving car while on her way back home after the shooting of a film in February 2017.

According to the prosecution case, Dileep allegedly conspired in the brutal incident, which was executed through Sunil Kumar (Pulsar Suni), the first accused in the case.

Incidentally, Dileep also said the interview given by the survivor to senior journalist Barkha Dutt was part of a ploy to evade the verdict in the case (which, according to his belief, would turn out in his favour).

Besides saying that he was innocent, Dileep went to the extent of arguing that even the case of sexual assault cannot be true.

“The tag of a survivor is used not only to invoke public sympathy in her favour but to create public wrath and dislike against the judicial officer, the lawyers appearing for the defence and the petitioner himself. The amount of sensationalism sought and created can be gauged from the fact that the broadcast of the interview (by Burkha Dutt) was given wide publicity,” the petition said.

Further, Dileep drew the court’s attention to the marital status of the survivor to prove his point that she was not a powerless woman.

“It may be noted that the person in the case is not a powerless, ordinary lady. She is a popular actor who is married to a very rich businessman from Karnataka after the registration of this case and is a lady having all means and more supporters and followers than any other lady actress,” the petition said.

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In the petition, Dileep also blamed the survivor for the failure of his film projects. “Media trial is being held at the behest of the complainant (the survivor woman) and the petitioner (Dileep) is suffering gravely, with his reputation at stake. His last movie was released only on an OTT platform and could not be exhibited in theatres due to the adverse campaign orchestrated by the investigating agency as well as the survivor and their allies,” said the petition.

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