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Supreme Court refuses to stay trial against actor Dileep

Tapanga

Jan. 17, 2020

Case concerns abduction and molestation of a woman actor in which he is one of the accused
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the trial against Malayalam actor Dileep in a case of abduction and molestation of a woman actor in which he is one of the accused.
The actor wanted the trial to be frozen till he got a report from the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) about the authenticity of a memory card containing certain visuals allegedly of the attack on the victim.
Dileep, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, contended that his right of defence would be crippled without the report as the “whole case revolves around the memory card”.
A Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, instead, took the middle path.
The Bench ordered the examination-in-chief of prosecution witnesses to continue. It said the cross-examination of the witnesses in court would only begin after Dileep gets the CFSL report.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate G. Prakash, for Kerala, said the plea by the actor was only a ploy to delay the trial.
The court asked the CFSL, Chandigarh, to expedite its examination and complete the report.
In a November judgment, the court allowed Dileep to either personally inspect in court the contents of the memory card or seek a second opinion about its genuineness and credibility from an independent agency like the CFSL. It had upheld his argument that the card should be considered a 'document' under the Evidence Act.
The plea for a stay of the trial came a few days after charges were framed against him and nine other accused for the incident that occurred in 2017.
The trial court had dismissed his plea to exclude him from the list of accused on the ground that there was prima facie evidence against him, who is the eighth accused in the case.
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