Kochi: While granting an anticipatory bail plea to Malayalam Actor Dileep on Monday, the Kerala High Court's single bench of Justice P Gopinath criticised the media reporting in the case against the actor which alleged that he threatened investigation officials probing the 2017 Actress Attack Case.
The court, in its order, noted, "This case has generated a lot of media attention. Mainstream television media and social media have commented upon the way this court went upon its business in handling this case. Observations made in court during the course of the hearing have been dissected and made subject matter of intense discussion."
"The existence of a vibrant, independent and free press is no doubt essential to democracy. The constitutional courts in this country have been zealous to protect the freedom of speech and expression but this cannot be a license for persons armed with half baked facts with little or no knowledge of how the judiciary functions and little or no knowledge of the fundamental legal principles that govern it, abuse the justice delivery system," it added.
The court further found that there is no material to suggest that an act or illegal omission had occurred for the accused in this case to be charged with an offence of abetment of that act or omission.
"Prima facie, that at present, there is no material to suggest that the accused had committed the offence of criminal conspiracy. Regarding the non-cooperation with the investigation, I am of the opinion that even if bail is granted to the accused it is always open to the prosecution to move this court for cancellation of bail or for the arrest of the accused," the court said.
"Investigation can be properly conducted without the custody of the accused making it clear that even while on anticipatory bail the 'deemed custody' or 'limited custody' will be with the prosecution for the purposes of any recovery etc," the court added.
Earlier today, the court granted anticipatory bail to Dileep and four other accused with conditions.
Each of them has been asked to execute separate bonds for sums of Rs 1,00,000 each with two solvent sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court.
They must co-operate with the investigation and make themselves available for interrogation whenever required. They also have to surrender their passports before the jurisdictional court.