Malayalam actress assault case: Pulsar Suni's counsel arrested; Dileep gave 'quotation' to commit crime?
The Kerala High Court reserved its orders on 20 July with regards to the bail plea of Malayalam actor Dileep, who has been arrested for allegedly plotting the 17 February abduction and sexual assault of a popular South Indian actress. After hearing both sides — the government's and the accused's, Justice Sunil Thomas reserved orders on the plea.
Opposing the bail plea, Manjeri Sreedharan Nair (Director General of Prosecution) claimed that evidence gathered by the investigation agency has established that Dileep is the "kingpin" of the crime.
Nair informed the court that Dileep had given the prime accused Sunil Kumar (alias 'Pulsar' Suni) Rs 10,000, and an additional Rs 1 lakh was reportedly deposited in Suni's mother's account to commit the crime, according to a Manoramaonline report.
The Special Investigation Team that is probing the case arrested lawyer Pratheesh Chako, 'Pulsar' Suni's former counsel, according to a report by The Hindu. The police is said to have recorded his arrest after having interrogated him at the Aluva Police Club.
Pratheesh reportedly gave the police inputs on the mobile phone that had allegedly been used to shoot a video of the assault on the actress. Pratheesh had earlier submitted an anticipatory bail plea which the High Court disposed on 19 July, according to the same Hindu report.
Along with the interrogation, the police allegedly searched Pratheesh's residence and office premises and interrogated Raju Chacko, a junior lawyer working with Prateesh with regards to the case. A bag containing four SIM cards, a card reader and a memory card was retrieved among other things, as reported by the Hindu.
The prosecution said the actor's judicial custody is required as the investigation agency was still looking for the mobile phone used for taking the video of the criminal act committed by first accused Suni and his gang.
A "quotation" was given to execute a crime and such a case was reported for the first time in the state, the prosecution said. The case's investigation is still on and there is a possibility of involvement of the others accused in the case, according to a PTI report.
The prosecution said police may seek further custody of Dileep. There is clear evidence — mobile phone call records and witnesses — to prove that the prime accused Suni had met the actor at several places to plot the crime. The prosecution also submitted the case diary in a sealed cover, according to the same PTI report.
Earlier, Dileep's counsel argued that the meeting of two persons will not amount to hatching conspiracy and there was no evidence with the investigation agency to prove that the accused — Pulsar and Dileep — had met and talked. Arguing that sufficient grounds must be indicated by the investigation agency to keep a person in jail, the counsel described the statements made by the police in its remand report as "totally irrelevant".
The intention of the case against him was just to humiliate the actor and destroy his career as a film artiste, according to Dileep's lawyer. Rejecting the contention of police that the actor would influence witnesses in the case, the counsel said it was impossible for him to do so as the first accused in the crime was in custody. Pleading innocence, he argued that the actor was arrested on the basis of the statement by the first accused, who, he said, is a notorious criminal.
The actor, arrested on July 10, moved the high court for bail after an Angamaly magisterial court refused to grant him the relief and sent him to judicial custody till 25 July. Rejecting the bail plea, the magistrate court had said there is a chance of him tampering with the evidence.
Dileep, charged under various sections of the IPC, including the one for hatching criminal conspiracy for abduction and assault of the actress in a moving car on 17 February, is currently lodged in a jail in his home town Aluva. The police have claimed that the conspiracy to abduct and assault the actress and film the dastardly act was hatched by Dileep and 'Pulsar' Suni.
In their remand application, the police had claimed that Dileep had developed a grudge against the actress for letting his former wife know about his alleged affairs and had hatched a conspiracy to take revenge way back in 2013.
The actress, who has worked in Tamil and Telugu films, was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle and later escaped.
With inputs from PTI