Actress assault case: victim urges Kerala HC for fresh probe into illegal access of visuals

There are 10 accused in the 2017 case including actor Dileep and police have arrested seven.
Actor Dileep.
Actor Dileep.

KOCHI: The victim in the 2017 actress assault case has moved the Kerala High Court urging it to order a fresh investigation into the alleged illegal access of the visuals of the incident contained in a memory card and a pen drive by different persons while these devices were in the custody of the subordinate courts.

In her plea, the victim has claimed that a mere reading of the inquiry report with regard to the illegal access of the devices indicates that the authority carrying out the probe "never conducted a fair, free and complete" investigation as directed by the High Court.

The victim has contended that the report is liable to be quashed and urged that a fresh probe be carried out by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under supervision of the High Court to uphold the majesty of law, maintain the purity of the legal system and protect her right to privacy.

She has alleged that service of the police and other expert agencies were directed to be utilised in the probe, but the same were "deliberately avoided" by the inquiry authority "to hide the material fact that the visuals were copied and transmitted by many persons known and unknown" when the devices were in custody of different courts.

The inquiry authority is the District and Sessions Judge, Ernakulam, who is the trial judge in the assault case. He was also directed by the High Court to look into the alleged access of the two devices.

She has claimed that the two devices were actually in the personal custody of judicial officers and staff and not in the safe custody of any court.

The actress has also alleged that no attempt was even made to trace out the electronic gadgets used to access the visuals in the two devices and that the inquiry authority wrongly accepted the versions of the culprits that their mobile phones were either lost or destroyed without verifying whether they were telling the truth.

She has contended that she was deliberately kept away from the inquiry and was not even allowed to make written submissions on the supply of materials collected in the inquiry.

"A copy of the inquiry report was also denied to her even though it was requested in writing," the plea has said.

It has claimed that the inquiry conducted was "illegal" and violative of the principles of natural justice and the directions of the High Court.

The victim has claimed that according to the forensic report, the memory card was accessed thrice while it was in custody of various subordinate courts.

She has sought a fresh probe to ensure the culprits are punished.

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 including actor Dileep and police have arrested seven.

Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.

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The New Indian Express