HC directs Dileep, 5 others to appear for interrogation, restrains arrest till Thursday

The High Court also granted interim protection from arrest to actor Dileep till January 27 in the case.

Dileep. Photo: PTI/File

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Saturday has directed actor Dileep and five others to appear before the Crime Branch for interrogation into the case over allegedly threatening investigation officers probing the actress attack case. The Crime Branch will interrogate the 6 accused including actor Dileep on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The High Court also granted interim protection from arrest to actor Dileep till January 27 in the case.

Dileep, his brother P Sivakumar alias Anoop, Dileep’s brother-in-law TN Sooraj, relative Appu, friend Baiju Chemanganad and hotel owner Sarath are named as accused in the new case over threatening investigating officials.

The court allowed the probe team to question the accused without any time restrictions. The court will consider the anticipatory bail plea of Dileep and others on Tuesday after the three-day long interrogation.

Justice Gopinath P directed the accused to fully cooperate with the investigation and directed them to be available for interrogation from 9 AM to 8 PM on the three days.

The court also directed the public prosecutor to submit a report on the interrogation and material evidence in a sealed cover on January 27, when the matter would be heard again.

Besides Dileep, his younger brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law T N Suraj have moved the court seeking the same relief.

The Crime Branch had, on January 9, registered the case on a complaint filed by an investigating officer based on a purported audio clip of Dileep, which was released by a TV channel in which the actor was allegedly heard conspiring to attack the official.

The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people).

Dileep has claimed that this apprehension was borne out of the past conduct of the complainant officer who has been trying to falsely implicate him in the sexual assault case.

The actress who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was abducted and allegedly molested in 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 10 accused in the case and initially, police arrested seven people. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail later.

(With added inputs from PTI )

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