Actor abduction case: Court bid to find audio’s authenticity fails

During the hearing, the court asked the prosecution why cyber expert Sai Sankar is not made an accused in the actor abduction case.

Published: 15th June 2022 05:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2022 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

Malayalam actor Dileep (File | A Sanesh, EPS)

Malayalam actor Dileep who is a key accused in the actor assault case.(File | A Sanesh, EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Additional Special Sessions Court’s attempt to find the authenticity of the audio clips of Dileep and his aide secretly recorded by director Balachandrakumar failed after the prosecution submitted that the filmmaker had amplified the volume of the clips leading to a change in the file creation date. The prosecution informed the court about this while considering the petition to cancel Dileep’s bail in the 2017 actor abduction and assault case on Tuesday.

The hearing started with Dileep’s lawyer B Raman Pillai argued that Balachandrakumar’s statements should not be relied on as there are contradictions in two statements given under Section 161 of CrPC and to the police in January this year. In the first statement given on January 3, Balachandrakumar claimed that an audio clip of 24-minute duration was recorded using a Samsung Tab. In the statement given on January 5, the director claimed that the Samsung Tab didn’t exist. Raman Pillai also asked how Dileep and his aides could watch the sexual assault visuals in the living room of his house when his mother, wife and sister were at home.

On this, the court asked whether the prosecution could find the file creation date of the audio clips submitted in a pen drive by Balachandrakumar. Public prosecutor K B Sunil Kumar said before handing over the audio clips in the pen drive to the police, Balachandrakumar had enhanced the volume of these clips following which the file creation date was changed. Currently, the file creation date is January 2, 2022, the last accessed date January 3, 2022, and the last written date December 5, 2021.

During the hearing, the court asked the prosecution why cyber expert Sai Sankar is not made an accused in the actor abduction case. According to the court, when Dileep’s friend Sarath was made an accused for allegedly causing destruction of evidence, the same act was done by Sai as well. The prosecution replied that turning Sai into an accused would be considered.

Advocate Philip T Varghese who also represents Dileep argued that the incomplete FSL reports should not be relied on to arrive at a conclusion. According to him, the mobile phones of Dileep, Anoop and Suraj were surrendered before the court on January 31, 2022, and they were sent for forensic examination. However, in one of the reports, it is seen that the files were deleted from a phone at 8.22pm on February 7, 2022.

Police move court seeking custody of mobile phones of Dileep’s kin

Kochi: The police team probing the 2017 actor abduction case on Tuesday filed a petition in the Ernakulam Additional Special Sessions Court requesting to direct Dileep’s brother Anoop and brother-in-law Suraj to hand over their mobile phones for forensic examination.  According to the police, a notice in this regard was served on Anoop and Suraj, but they refused to hand it over as part of the investigation. Police stated that these two phones were sent to a private forensic lab in Mumbai by Dileep. Though police could retrieve mirror images of the content in these mobile phones from the private forensic laboratory, the physical retraction of content is important as part of further investigation.  Dileep also has filed a petition seeking his passport as he would be travelling abroad in the coming days. Dileep’s passport is in court’s custody.

Memory card case: Judge recuses himself from hearing govt’s appeal

Kochi: Justice Kauser Edappagath on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the appeal filed by the state government in the Kerala High Court against the order of the Additional Special Sessions Court, Ernakulam, rejecting the plea of the crime branch to send the memory card in which the alleged rape of the actor was recorded, for forensic analysis. The appeal stated that the refusal amounts to interference in the probe which is in the sole realm of the investigating agency. The demand for conducting a forensic examination is part of the investigation, and the trial court’s decision is illegal. The card may have been accessed without authorisation many times and denying the plea for a forensic examination amounts to interfering with the investigation. According to the CB, though the Forensic Science Lab report specifically shows that the memory card was illegally accessed on December 13, 2018, the court did not mention the date of last access in the proceedings and failed to take note of the relevancy of such illegal access.

India Matters


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