The Malayalam movie actress, who was allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car in February 2017, is learnt to have decided to move a review petition in the Kerala High Court seeking appointment of a woman judge for hearing the case. The principal sessions court had two weeks ago dismissed a similar petition filed by the Kerala actress earlier.
According to a report in Mathrubhumi, the actress has now decided to move the HC with a review petition on the matter. The actress is likely to request the court to appoint a woman judge in order to speed up the trial in the case.
The report also the review petition had no connection with reinstatement of actor Dileep, an accused in the kidnapping case for which he spent 85 days in jail, to the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
Dileep is currently out on bail.
The association had suspended his membership after the case came to light last year, but at a general body meeting on 24 June, the new set of office-bearers led by superstar Mohanlal decided to revoke the suspension.
Angry over Dileep’s reinstatement, three leading actresses Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, along with the victim, resigned from the artistes body a couple of days later.
Dileep has meanwhile said he would not return to AMMA until he comes clean in the case.
In a letter to AMMA general secretary Edavela Babu, Dileep said, “…I do not wish to be active in any body till I come clean. I am deeply pained in hearing various criticism against AMMA in my name. I wish the newly elected committee of AMMA all the best.”
Here is a look at the Kerala actress kidnapping case that rocked the Malayalam movie industry last year.
On February 17, 2017, the actress was travelling to Kochi from Thrissur in her car when the vehicle was waylaid near Angamaly and she was abducted along with her car. She was then sexually assaulted inside the moving car, and her ordeal continued for about two hours, until they reached Palarivattom, according to her complaint to the police lodged the same day.
While the crime was allegedly committed by a gang of four, led by prime accused Pulsar Suni, Dileep’s name started cropping up soon, with allegations surfacing that the conspiracy had been hatched by the popular actor.
While Dileep initially rubbished all allegations, the noose tightened around his neck after Malayalam news channels broadcast an audio recording in June last year. The audio was of an alleged blackmail call that had been reportedly received by Dileep’s close aides. The audio had Suni purportedly demanding Rs 1.5 crore to keep quiet about Dileep’s alleged role in the case. A letter also surfaced in the media, which Suni had allegedly written to Dileep.
The police arrested Dileep on July 10, 2017, after a five-hour questioning, and sent to Aluva sub-jail. H’s name figures as the eighth accused in the case. On October 10, 2017, the Kerala High Court granted bail to Dileep.
The case is still sub judice, with a Special Investigation Team probing the matter.
On November 22, the SIT submitted a supplementary chargesheet in the Angamaly court, naming Dileep’s former wife Manju Warrier as one of the key witnesses.