KOCHI: It was a total turnaround in the script. There was heckling and booing as a semi-belligerent crowd could barely come to terms with the facade of a superhero being stripped away from him on July 10. On Tuesday, the reversal of fortunes for Dileep, the actor, could not have been more marked. When he came out of Aluva sub-jail to a hero’s welcome, Dileep’s luck as an actor too had changed. After a string of box office failures, it was as if the success of ‘Ramaleela’ that has been running to packed audiences since its release on September 28 had changed his real life fortunes as well.
Those who know the actor will vouch these thoughts would have been foremost in his mind as he finally got bail on the 86th day of incarceration for his alleged role as a conspirator in the actor abduction case.
While granting bail the court observed, “In the light of the substantial completion of the investigation and collection of materials which the prosecution proposes to rely on, there is a definite change of circumstances from those that existed at the time of considering previous bail applications. Hence, bail could be granted.”
It is pertinent to note though the prosecution allegations are very serious and the petitioner is alleged to be the person who engineered the crime, unlike accused persons one to six, he had not participated in the actual sexual assault. Dileep was sought to be roped in regarding the conspiracy part and with the offence alleged, with the aid of section 120(B) and section 34 of IPC.
Dileep’s role hence sought to be established with other circumstantial evidence, which includes both documentary and oral evidence.
Documentary evidence includes mobile call details, tower location records, bills, registers and other records. Even regarding oral evidence, the statement under section 161 of the CrPC of more than 20 crucial witnesses has been recorded. Hence, further custody of Dileep on the basis of the apprehension of interference is the trial at this stage, may not be justified. “He has no criminal antecedents, even according to the prosecution. The anxiety of prosecution can be taken care of by imposing conditions. Further, the court is bound to ensure that the victim and all the prosecution witnesses are sufficiently protected against any possible threat of intimidation till the trial is completed.
This calls for stricter conditions while granting bail,” the court held. Appearing for Dileep, senior advocate B Raman Pillai and advocate V B Sujesh Menon submitted that the only allegation against him was that he had engaged the first accused to take nude videography of the victim and hence offences - gang rape and rape - could not be attributed to him with the aid of criminal conspiracy. Hence, he was entitled to bail on expiry of 60 days. The magistrate had rejected the contention.Earlier, the High Court had dismissed two bail applications stating there were prima facie materials to suspect the involvement of Dileep in the conspiracy, the allegation raised was very serious and that the probe was at a crucial stage.
The prosecution submitted the probe had reached its final stage. Though Dileep’s friend Nadirshah was questioned exhaustively, he did not cooperate on material aspects. The court said the statement of the police did not disclose that the investigating agency proposed to question him further. The prosecution proposes to file the final report within the statutory period. However, the prosecution opposed the plea citing the reason that Dileep would influence the witnesses as he was highly influential.
Dileep shall execute a bond for a sum of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the Magistrate Court
Dileep should appear before the investigating officer as and when called for, cooperate with the investigation and shall not interfere with the investigation till the filing of the final report
He should surrender passport before the magistrate within 7 days from date of execution of bond
He should not directly, indirectly or through any agent try to influence, intimidate, threaten or coerce the victim