KOCHI: In a major revelation in the actor abduction case involving actor Dileep, the state government has told the Kerala High Court that the Additional Special Sessions Judge did not record a major disclosure of Manju Warrier, who is one of the prime witnesses. The government raised the allegation in its petition seeking to transfer the trial to another court. The High Court will consider the plea on Monday.
In the petition, accessed by TNIE, the government pointed out that on February 27, 2020, when Manju Warrier — the former wife of eighth accused Dileep — was cross-examined, the defence asked her several questions with the intention of character assassination.
“There were questions asked to prove that she hadn’t contacted her daughter for years. In the re-examination, the special prosecutor asked her when she had last contacted her daughter. Manju Warrier deposed that her daughter had contacted her over the phone on February 24, 2020, and requested her not to depose anything against her father. Manju Warrier also said she replied to her daughter that she was duty bound to reveal the truth before the court. This disclosure was not recorded by the Special Judge saying such a statement in the re-examination was inadmissible. The court rejected the special prosecutor’s request in this regard,” said the government. The petition said the victim had deposed certain important facts about the crime, which were also ignored.
“During the rehearsal session of a stage show by cine artists at Abad Plaza, Ernakulam, in 2013, the eighth accused had told actress Bhama that he would burn the victim alive as he had understood that the victim was instrumental in the break-up of his first marriage. The victim stated that the actress had conveyed this to her. But the trial court declined to record this testimony stating that it’s only hearsay. Despite the specific request of the prosecution that it needed to be recorded for corroboration, the court refused,” said the government.
In the petition that sought to cancel the bail of the eighth accused and on several other occasions, the prosecution had submitted before the court that the prosecution witnesses were under pressure and threat from the accused, especially the eighth accused, to depose in his favour. The trial court discarded these submissions,” it stated.
“On September 16, a witness, Salim, turned hostile while being examined and the prosecutor asked him certain questions, with permission. Within no time, the trial court got agitated and shouted at the special prosecutor that there were other witnesses left to be examined and asked him to stop. In such circumstances, the prosecution could not examine the witness in detail,” the government said.
The government said the attitude of the trial court was totally against the best interest of the state and the victim.
“There were several instances during the examination of witnesses, wherein the judge declined to record the pieces of evidence which supported the prosecution and opted to record the answers in a manner favouring the accused by recording them as ‘witness adds’ and ‘witness clarifies’,” the state submitted.”
The attitude of the trial judge gives the impression that the judge is not impartial and fair. The trial court did nothing to protect the witnesses from the collective trauma created in the cross-examination, though the witnesses are supposed to be the guests of the court,” the government stated in the petition.
Plea to be considered
The High Court will on Monday consider the petition filed by the government seeking to transfer the trial to another court.
‘Serious attempts on social media to target actor’
The trial court did nothing to protect the witnesses from the collective trauma created in the cross-examination. There were serious attempts on paid social media pages to humiliate the victim, stated the petition.