Malayalam Actress Assault Case: Supreme Court Adjourns Plea of Actor Dileep
Malayalam actor Dileep. (Movie still)

New Delhi, April 3: The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned till May 1 a plea of Malayalam actor Dileep seeking a copy of the digital evidence of the alleged assault on a noted south Indian actress, in which he is a key accused. A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar adjourned the matter after the other party sought an adjournment. The actress, who has also worked in Tamil and Telugu films besides Malayalam, was allegedly abducted and molested by a group of men in her car in February 2017, in a conspiracy, which the actress says was hatched by Dileep. In March 2018, Dileep filed a review petition in the Kerala High Court seeking a copy of the memory card containing visuals of the purported crime. The High Court dismissed the petition on the grounds that the video of the actress's assault is "too sensitive" to be let out. Malayalam Actress Assault Case: Dileep Missing at Case Hearing; Lawyer Says He Has Personal Issues.

After that, Dileep moved the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Kerala High Court. The apex court had earlier said it will see if the memory card, which is part of a police report under Evidence Act, is a "material or document". The Bench had said it will also see the provisions under the Information and Technology (IT) Act. The top court also agreed with the order of the Kerala High Court that the video of assault cannot be handed over to the accused.

The apex court had asked Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of Dileep, whether the memory card of a mobile is a "document" under section 207 of CrPC and can be supplied to the actor. During the hearing, Mukul Rohatgi stated that Dileep has no connection with the crime, pressing that the actor was not named in the original chargesheet, but was later framed by the actress. He said that his client has a right to receive evidence relating to the case.

He claimed that the visuals of the video have been "doctored" to deliberately trap Dileep, while also contending that he needs the memory card to prove his innocence as he has right to a fair trial. The actor has claimed that he was framed in the case due to personal enmity with the actress. Dileep was arrested on July 10 in 2017 and was granted bail on October 3 the same year.