Kochi: Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state police chief to file a report within two weeks on actor Dileep's petition seeking an order to prohibit the media from publishing matters related to his trial in the actress sexual assault case.
Justice Kauser Edappagath, while considering Dileep's plea, directed the DGP to take appropriate action if there was any violation of the trial court's order restricting the publication of matters pertaining to the case.
"Police DGP shall conduct an inquiry and file a report and if any violation is committed as against the order of the sessions court, appropriate action shall be taken. Posted after two weeks," the court said.
In his petition, Dileep had stated that an "in-camera trial" was mandated under 327 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code for the offence charged against him and the printing and publishing of the proceedings were unlawful.
"They (investigating and prosecuting agencies) have sponsored and resorted to media trials as the same has no accountability and can be easily sponsored especially in a period where fake news and forms of unethical journalism are prevalent and it is easy to choose a suitable media house and use their services to propagate falsehood about the trial of the case," the petition said.
Dileep in this petition also pointed out that the sessions court had earlier passed an order directing that "nobody should print or publish the proceedings in connection with the sexual assault case of an actor in 2017, except the matters permitted.
The petition filed through advocate Philip T Varghese said there was a deliberate and concerted act of criminal contempt hindering the administration of justice by scandalizing the court and prejudicing the trial by publishing the proceedings of the trial conducted.
The actor also submitted that not only the private tv channel but other media- including print, digital and social media are now printing and publishing matters which amounts to criminal contempt.
The crime branch had on January 9 registered a case following a complaint by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel recently in which the actor was reportedly heard conspiring to attack the officials.
The audio clips came out soon after a director, Balachandra Kumar, made some startling revelations against Dileep in the actress assault case through a TV channel.
The survived actress who worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car for two hours by some of the accused, 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 some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are ten accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and let out on bail later.