Malayalam actor Dileep who is a key accused in the actor assault case.(File | A Sanesh, EPS)
Malayalam actor Dileep who is a key accused in the actor assault case.(File | A Sanesh, EPS)

Actor Dileep sexual assault case: SC junks survivor’s petition seeking change of court

To persuade the bench to allow the survivor’s plea, Senior Advocate R Basant submitted that the presiding officer was biased in favour of the accused.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by the survivor in the sexual assault case which involves actor Dileep as an accused seeking to transfer the trial to another court. The trial proceedings that commenced in 2020 are being conducted by Judge Honey Varghese. A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar said, “The kind of systems which is polluted now, no judge in subordinate court is interested in dealing with criminal matters. Any observation made by them is taken adverse against them. We can’t ask the officers to shut their mouths.”

Laying emphasis on the fact that the endeavour of the court is to ensure that a fair trial takes place and SC’s interference pursuant to HC taking a call will set a bad precedent, the bench also said, “We cannot allow petitions alleging bias, as judges will not be able to discharge their duties without fear and favour. If this court takes a call after the HC takes a view it will set a bad precedent. This court should never interfere unless the statement of facts is such that you can’t shut your eyes. Ultimately we want a fair trial.”

To persuade the bench to allow the survivor’s plea, Senior Advocate R Basant submitted that the presiding officer was biased in favour of the accused. He also added that the accused, Dileep, had close ties with the judge and her husband.

Appearing for actor Dileep, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that there have been several attempts by the prosecutrix to interfere with the trial. Asking the court to dismiss the petition with costs, he also added that 207 witnesses have been examined.

The Kerala HC while dismissing the survivor’s plea on September 22 had said that the survivor’s “apprehensions regarding possible interference in the fair trial” were not reasonable. The court had also said that frequent discussions and debates in several news channels regarding the case “created some wrong perceptions about the trial of the case”. The judge further added that it ‘apparently influenced’ the general public, including the survivor.

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