Kochi: The Kerala High Court Monday, February 7, granted anticipatory bail to actor Dileep and others in a case pertaining to the alleged conspiracy to kill police officers, who investigated the abduction and sexual assault case of a woman actor in 2017. The bail was granted by a bench headed by Justice P Gopinath after two-week-long hearing on the plea moved by the accused.
The court has, however, imposed strict conditions asking the actor and other accused to surrender their passports. The court has also asked them to co-operate with the crime branch of the Kerala police, which is investigating the case.
The police, opposing the plea, had claimed in the court that Dileep and the others were not cooperating with the probe in the latest FIR against them, while the actor, refuting the allegations, had contended that the case was a “fabricated one” and a “manipulation”.
Director General of Prosecution T A Shaji and additional public prosecutor P Narayanan, representing the police, had told the court during arguments that the nature and gravity of the accusations against them and their conduct so far disentitles them to any relief.
The actor and the other accused, which include his brother and brother-in-law, on the other hand had contended that they answered all the queries put to them by the police during their 33 hours long interrogation spread over three days for 11 hours each and that they had only refused to give a confession that was being construed as non-cooperation.
On January 9, the Crime Branch registered the latest case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was telecast by a TV channel, 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 offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).
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.