KOCHI: The police team probing the abduction and rape of an actress inside a moving car in Kochi in 2017 has launched a fresh probe against film star Dileep based on certain revelations made by a filmmaker.
As part of the fresh probe, the SIT is likely to question Dileep again after getting a legal opinion on whether there is any procedural hurdle in quizzing the accused persons and witnesses in the sensational case, sources said.
The police team on Tuesday submitted film director P Balachandrakumar’s statement given to them in a sealed cover at the Ernakulam Additional Special Sessions Court. The court, in turn, directed the investigation officer to file the further investigation report by January 20.
Fresh investigation based on director’s statement that Dileep knew Pulsar Suni
The fresh investigation was launched based on Balachandrakumar's statement that Dileep had watched the video of the sexual assault in his house and that the film star knew first accused Sunil Kumar, alias Pulsar Suni, well. The director had also alleged that Dileep influenced some of the key witnesses who turned hostile during the trial. Sources said the allegations made by Balachandrakumar have to be cross-checked with Dileep and other persons named in the statement.
As a majority of the persons named by Balachandrakumar were already examined as witnesses during the trial, the probe team would check whether they can be questioned again. Other than Dileep, the team is likely to quiz Pulsar Suni as well. Balachandrakumar would be made a witness if the police get evidence for his revelations. Earlier, the team had informed the court that it was invoking Section 173(8) of CrPC to carry out a further investigation based on Balachandrakumar's revelations. It had also filed a petition to defer the examination of the investigation officer (IO) as a witness in the wake of the further investigation launched and the two petitions related to the case pending before the Kerala High Court.
“The investigation is the exclusive prerogative of the IO. Law doesn't mandate any permission from the court to conduct further investigation. It is only a matter of courtesy to inform the matter to the court. Though the investigation is the exclusive prerogative of the IO, considering the direction of the Supreme Court to dispose of the case on or before February 16, 2022, the IO is directed to file a report on further investigation on or before January 20, 2022,” said the court diary.
There are reports that the investigation team submitted the mobile phone of Balachandrakumar as evidence at the court. The court will also consider the petition to defer the examination of the IO as a witness on January 20. When the case came up for consideration on Tuesday, there was no lawyer to represent the prosecution after Special Public Prosecutor V N Anil Kumar resigned. The court directed the IO to make the necessary arrangements for continuing the trial in the case. Pulsar Suni was brought to the court after a petition seeking permission to meet his lawyer was filed.
Plea against officer
Reports suggest Dileep has filed a contempt of court petition against IO Baiju Paulose. Earlier, Dileep had written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requesting action against Baiju Paulose and to withdraw a petition filed at the court seeking further investigation in the case.