2017 actress assault case: Kerala HC allows state plea for forensic analysis of memory card


PTI, Jul 5, 2022, 12:51 PM IST

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday allowed the state’s plea for forensic examination of a memory card containing visuals of the actress assault incident of 2017 but made it clear that this cannot be a reason for prolonging the trial in the case in which actor Dileep is also an accused.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas set aside the trial court order denying the prosecution’s request to send the memory card for forensic analysis.

The high court directed that within two days of receiving its order, the trial court should send the memory card and related documents to the state forensic lab.

Thereafter, within seven days, the lab shall provide its report to the investigating officer who shall forward the same to the trial court in a sealed envelope.

The high court made it clear that the forensic analysis of the memory card should not be a reason to prolong the trial or further delay the investigation of the case.

The Crime Branch, which is probing the case, had approached the High Court challenging the lower court order, halting the probe into the alleged leak of evidence from the court during the trial.

The Crime Branch stated that a memory card, which was crucial evidence in the case and was submitted before the court, was forwarded to the forensic laboratory, but was found with a change in the hash value of the card, which indicated unauthorized access.

The trial court had halted the inquiry in this regard against which the Crime Branch had moved the High Court.

On June 3, the High Court granted an extension of time till July 15, to the Crime Branch team, to complete the investigation into 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. Dileep, the eighth accused in the case, was also arrested and sent to jail. He was released after the court granted him bail.

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