In a setback for the Kerala government, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain its plea to extend the time to complete the trial in Malayalam actor Dileep rape case.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar said such a demand can be made only by the trial judge and the judge can also submit a report before the top court seeking extension if it is felt necessary.
Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing the Kerala government, sought 6 months more time, as the existing deadline to complete the trial is February 16. But, the bench made it clear that it will not grant the extension, at the instance of the Kerala government.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Dileep, opposed the Kerala government plea and submitted that the state government is trying to delay the trial. He vehemently argued that the time to complete the trial had already been extended several times.
He argued that after the examination of 200 witnesses, another man came with a fresh set of allegations when the trial in the matter is about to complete.
The bench orally observed that it will not pass an order at the instance of the state government and disposed of the application. “We leave it at the discretion of the trial court to take an appropriate view in this matter…”.
Dileep is allegedly accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy in connection with the abduction and the sexual assault of the victim, in a moving vehicle in the outskirts of Cochin city in February 2017.