KOCHI: Malayalam actor Dileep, who was arrested for alleged conspiracy in the abduction and sexual assault on a leading Malayalam actress, on Monday approached the Kerala High Court seeking bail in the case.
Dileep, the 11th accused in the case, filed the bail plea before the High Court after a lower court had rejected his plea on Saturday.
Dileep, 48, who is also a film distributor, producer and theater owner, has pleaded innocence, maintaining that he has been falsely implicated in the case. “I am absolutely innocent and had already cooperated with the investigation team,” said the bail petition.
The counsel for the actor submitted before the High Court that Dileep was dragged into the case solely based on the deposition of the accused. There was no trace of evidence against Dileep, it said.
The actor faces charges of criminal conspiracy in the kidnapping, sexual assault and destruction of evidence.
The actress was abducted and assaulted in a moving car on the night of February 17 in Kochi when she was travelling from her home in Thrissur to her friend’s place in Kochi. Police arrested Pulsar Suni, the actress' former driver, who committed the dastardly act on the actress, on February 23.
The bail plea for Dileep said the procedure mandated that “section 319 of CrPC has to be followed” before making a person an accused. But it was not followed in this case, it said.
A police team led by ADGP B Sandhya had questioned the actor for more than 11 hours on June 29 and he had disclosed all that he knew including the fact that he had never met Pulsar Suni. The petitioner being a popular actor is not likely to flee from justice and he will not influence any witnesses, it said, adding that in the event of continued detention he will be put to irreparable loss.
“His career in the film industry would be totally hampered. The arrest was without any evidence and without taking any permission from the court. Hence he should be released on bail,” the petition said.
The HC will consider the petition after the lunch session. According to the prosecution, the mobile phone used to film the heinous crime was handed over to Dileep and a subsequent dispute over remuneration resulted in blackmail and arrest of the actor.
The prosecution opposed the bail plea in the lower court stating that since the complainant in the case is a cine artist, if he was released on bail he may reach the cinema sets in which the actress is acting and humiliate her. Dileep may also obstruct her job thus creating a law and order issue.
The police also stated that if Dileep, who is involved in a crime that shook the public conscience, was released on bail it would be a bad message to society.
The accused was arrested under sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 366 (kidnapping), 376 (d) (a woman is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention), 411(dishonestly receiving stolen property), 506 (i), 201 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 212 (harbouring offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC and 66 (E) and 67 (A) of IT Act.