The Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the police not to take any action against actor Dileep, in connection with a new case registered against him and five others for allegedly threatening investigation officers probing the sexual assault of an actress back in 2017, till January 14 when his anticipatory bail plea would be heard again.
“Public Prosecutor to get instructions. List on January 14. Till then nothing be done,” Justice Gopinath P orally said, according to lawyers associated with the case.
Senior government pleader Saju, appearing for the prosecution, and advocate Thomas T Varghese, who is also representing the actor, confirmed the court’s oral order.
During the brief hearing, advocate Philip T Varghese, appearing for the actor, told the court that the present case has been lodged on a complaint by one of the investigating officers in the actress sexual assault case as the officer did not want to be examined during trial.
The lawyer contended that only the complainant officer remained to be examined in the ongoing trial of the sexual assault case and to delay or prevent the same, the latest complaint against the actor was made.
The anticipatory bail plea was strongly opposed by the prosecution, represented by senior government pleader Saju, which contended that the allegations against the actor were very grave.
Besides Dileep, his younger brother — P Sivakumar — and brother-in-law — T N Suraj — have also moved the high court seeking the same relief.
The Crime Branch had on Sunday registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel recently in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.
The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offense), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
The joint plea moved by all three has claimed that the complaint made against them by the officer — DySP (Crime Branch) Baiju Paulose — was “false”.
They have contended that the allegations in the FIR, registered on the base of the complaint, are “wholly false and baseless”.
The actor and his relatives have also alleged, in the petition, that the intention behind registration of the case was to take them into custody and humiliate them before the public.
This apprehension is borne out from the past conduct of the complainant officer who right from the start has been trying to falsely implicate the actor in the sexual assault case, the petition has alleged.
The victim — who has 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 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.