Kerala actress assault case: SC dismisses survivor’s plea to change trail court

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking a change of trial court in the assault and abduction case against Malayalam actor Dileep.

The survivor moved the apex court alleging that the lower court, currently conducting the trial, is biased.

A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and C.T. Ravikumar observed that it cannot allow a plea alleging bias. It further added that such petitions would not allow judges to hear cases without fear and favour. Dismissing the plea, the top court said in such matters the high court is supposed to take a decision and added that the kind of environment prevailing at this time, no subordinate judge would want to hear criminal matters.

The top court noted that recently there was a direction from it that the trial in the case be concluded by January 31, 2023.

The survivor had alleged that Dileep had close ties with the trial judge and her husband. The top court said the Kerala High Court had already decided the issue of bias in its judgment. The petitioner had moved the apex court challenging the high court judgment, which declined to entertain the plea seeking a change of trial court judge.

In September, the high court had said that the survivor’s apprehensions in connection with not getting a fair trial were not reasonable. In 2018, the high court on the survivor’s plea had set up a special court with a woman judge for the trial, which commenced in 2020.

The survivor was allegedly abducted and molested inside her car for two hours by the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017. Later, the accused escaped. There are 10 accused in the case. According to the prosecution, the entire act was filmed by the accused to blackmail the actress.

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