The Kerala High Court granted bail to Malayalam actor Dileep on his 86th day in incarceration. “In light of substantial completion of the investigation and collection of materials which the prosecution proposes to rely (on), there is a definite change of circumstance from (those) that existed at the time of consideration of previous bail applications,” said the order issued on Tuesday. So what has changed? Three persons accused in the actor abduction case have been released on bail. The potential arrests of Dileep’s wife Kavya Madhavan and friend Nadirshah failed to materialise.
The heat turned on the police as their interrogation took place only under the watchful eyes of the judiciary. So, what did the prosecution gain by keeping Dileep in judicial custody for 86 days? If the missing mobile phone, allegedly used for recording the act of sexual assault on the actor, was always cited as the reason for extending the remand of Dileep, the situation has remained the same not only on the 86th day of his arrest but a good six months after the criminal act was perpetrated.
Some people argue that the short stay at the prison in itself was a punishment for Dileep and his chances of returning to the screen were as good as finished. The fact is, he remains as good a box office bet as in the past, if the end product is good. The resounding success of his latest movie, Ramaleela, which was released on Thursday, proves Keralites do not confuse reel life with real life. For an actor who had allegedly masterminded a rape, women and children keep turning out in full force to watch him essay a role that has some similarities with his present plight.
The Kerala High Court, while giving its judgement in another case last week, said, “Even knowledge of the criminal design may not be sufficient to prosecute a person on the allegation of criminal conspiracy. What is required is an active meeting of minds to carry out a criminal design.” But in this case, the Kerala police will need to produce more than circumstantial evidence.