KOCHI: Due to coronavirus outbreak, the Additional Special Sessions Court here will decide the future course of the trial in the sensational actor abduction case - in which a Mollywood actor was abducted and raped in a moving car in 2017 - on April 15.
Even though, the court last month had decided to conduct a sitting on Friday, due to the lockdown the sitting would be held only on April 15, a day after the lockdown is to be lifted. Currently, all the trial courts in the state have postponed its proceedings following an order of Kerala High Court in wake of the national lockdown declared.
The court had scheduled to examine around 30 witnesses during this period. The trial posted for the dates on March 25, 26, 27, 28 and April 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 has already been postponed. As per the earlier schedule, the first phase witness examination was expected to be completed by April 7. In this phase, as many as 136 witnesses were to be examined. In the second phase, as many as 119 witnesses were to be heard.
Now, as the schedule of the trial is affected by the lockdown, the completion of the trial in six months' time will be a herculean task for the court. In November 2019, Supreme Court had directed the trial court to complete the trial in six months time period. Currently, more than 300 witnesses are to be examined with only around 40 witnesses examined till now. Actor Dileep is the eighth accused in the case.