KOCHI: The Kerala High Court is likely to pronounce on Tuesday its verdict on actor Dileep's plea to quash the FIR accusing him and others of conspiring to threaten and kill the officials probing the 2017 actress assault or to transfer the conspiracy case to the CBI for investigation.
According to the cause list for Tuesday uploaded on the Kerala High Court website, Justice Ziyad Rahman A A will pronounce the verdict at 1.45 PM.
While reserving judgement in the matter on March 31, the court had asked the Crime Branch not to file its final report in the case before the verdict is pronounced.
Dileep, in his plea filed through advocate Philip T Varghese, has alleged that the murder conspiracy FIR was an outcome of a personal animosity against the actor as all the male members of his family have been implicated in it.
His lawyers had earlier argued that there was absence of any material in the murder conspiracy FIR to indicate commission of any of the offences attributed to the accused and the entire case was based on something allegedly "wished" by him.
They had also claimed before the high court that offences in the latest FIR were non-cognizable and therefore, it could not have been registered without prior permission from a magistrate.
The Crime Branch, represented by Director General of Prosecution (DGP) T A Shaji and Additional Public Prosecutor P Narayanan, on the other hand had contended before the court that the allegations in the FIR make out offences which warrant setting in motion of the investigation machinery.
They had contended that the alleged utterances by the accused of threatening to harm the officials indicated what was in their mind and was a "manifestation" of their agreement or conspiracy.
They had also claimed that director Balachandra Kumar, based on whose revelations the case was lodged, was only able to record some bits and pieces of the utterances by the accused, while much more was said and done by the accused which he understood to be a conspiracy.
His recordings lend credence to his claim that there was a conspiracy, they had claimed.
The court, thereafter, had asked the agency why there was a delay of around four years in Kumar coming forward with his revelations regarding the alleged conspiracy and whether it would suggest an ill-motive on the part of the director.
To this, the agency had responded that the reasons for delay would be investigated and one of the reasons probably could be his close association with the actor.
The DGP had also said that Kumar's character was not germane to the issue as his statements were verified and his credibility was tested on 18 separate points before deciding to take the matter forward.
The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people) and later section 302 was also added to it for allegedly conspiring to murder the officials probing the 2017 actress assault case.
The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some persons who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area.
The entire act was filmed by those persons to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the 2017 case and police have arrested seven.
Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.