Saishankar's anticipatory bail plea not maintainable: Kerala HC

Dileep, Sai Shankar

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday said that the anticipatory bail plea moved by Saisankar, a forensic expert fearing arrest in a murder conspiracy case, in which actor Dileep is an accused, was not maintainable as on date as he has only been summoned as a witness by the police.

Justice Gopinath P further said that Saisankar is primarily accused of deleting 12 WhatsApp messages from the actor's phone and which according to the petitioner (Saisankar) only amounted to destruction of evidence -- a bailable offence.

The court also noted that according to the police, Saisankar was presently being summoned as a witness for questioning in the case and therefore, he "appeared to be jumping the gun" by moving the plea for anticipatory bail.

In view of these circumstances, the court said it was of the view that as on date the anticipatory bail plea was not maintainable.

It said that if any coercive action is taken by the police against him, he can approach the court.

The petitioner's lawyer said that his client was apprehending arrest in the case as the police has allegedly threatened to implicate him in other cases also.

The lawyer also told the court that police raided Saisankar's home and also threatened his wife and mother, prompting him to move the instant plea.

He said that his client would appear before the police after 7 days and urged the court to grant him that much time.

However, the court declined to pass any such order.

The actor and five others were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 116 (abetment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (criminal act done by several people) for allegedly conspiring to kill and threaten the officials probing the 2017 actress assault case.

The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some persons 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 those persons to blackmail the actress.

There are 10 accused in the 2017 case and police have arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.


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