Actor Dileep case: Prosecution moves Kerala HC for custody of mobile phones

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The prosecution, in the case where actor Dileep is alleged to have conspired to do away with the investigating officers in the actress abduction case, approached the Kerala High Court on Friday, stating that the actor was not cooperating with the Crime Branch probe team and is refusing to hand over his mobile phones, as part of the investigation.

The prosecution submitted an application accusing Dileep and his men of attempting to destroy critical evidence in the ongoing investigation.

It was added that although the accused made themselves available for the interrogation as directed by the court, they refused to hand over the mobile phones which they used prior to January 2022 to the investigating officers.

The court was firm on its opinion that the actor should hand over the phones to the investigating officer and even asked if he does not have faith and confidence in the court.

Counsel for the actor, however, pointed that his phone contains private conversations with his first wife (actress Manju Warrier) and others and the prosecution might infringe on his privacy by giving out his personal talks with others also.

Counsel also argued that the prosecution had no material to prove the case and that it was “embarking on a witch hunt”.

Aasked to surrender the phones, Dileep’s lawyers denied to do so taking a stand that notice under Section 91 is not maintainable and that the mobile phones were sent for forensic examination through their lawyers to retrieve crucial information with regards to the talk that he had with Balachandrakumar, a director and one who spilled the beans that Dileep was conspiring to do away with the investigating officers, and wanted it to be used as his piece of evidence that the director was blackmailing him.

The court then pointed out that it is not Dileep who should be sending phones for examinations.

The court then decided to hold a special sitting on Saturday to decide if Dileep should surrender his phones to the investigating agency.

On Friday, the probe team also called Balachandrakumar and officials said it was part of clarifying certain things which he had raised and which led to the fresh case.

Incidentally this development took place a day after Dileep’s anticipatory bail plea which has been hanging fire for a few weeks was decided to be taken up on next Wednesday by the Kerala High Court.

The court also ruled that the actor should not be arrested till then.

Apart from Dileep, his brother Anoop, brother-in-law Sooraj, aide Appu alias Krishnadas, and close friend Byju Chengamanad are those who were interrogated for 33 hours early this week over three days.

Popular because of the comic characters he plays on screen, Dileep has been in the news for the wrong reasons after a frontline South Indian heroine complained that she had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a gang of goons in 2017 and certain scenes were filmed to blackmail her.

After the main accused Sunil was arrested and questioned, the prosecution charged Dileep with being the main conspirator in the case and he was arrested. He spent two months in prison before getting bail and the trial has been going on.

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