SC allows Malayalam actor Dileep to access memory card in alleged assault case, refuses copy of memory card

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Malayalam actor Dileep to access the memory card of an alleged assault of a noted south Indian actress, in which he was a key accused.

A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, however, not allowed him to get a copy of the memory card.

The Bench said it may be justified in granting him inspection only, in view of right to privacy of the actress.

Earlier, the Apex court had said it will see if the memory card is “material or document” which is part of a police report under the evidence Act and will also see provisions under Information and Technology Act.

Dileep is an accused in the 2017 actress attack case and had approached the Supreme Court seeking access to a memory card that contains the images of the crime. Through his plea Dileep sought a copy of the digital evidence of the alleged assault. The actor has claimed that he has the right to access the memory card, considered to be the crucial evidence in the case, adding that he was framed in the case due to enmity of the victim-actress.

The actor was not named in the original charge sheet and was framed as afterthought by actress, Dileep’s counsel had contended while claiming he has no connection with the crime. The actor’s lawyer had added that he has a right to get evidence relating to the case which included the memory card in which the attack visuals have been stored.

He had also argued that the visuals in the video have been doctored to deliberately trap the actor and he needed to access the memory card to prove his innocence as he has right of being given a fair trial. Earlier, the actor had moved lower court and the Kerala High Court seeking the memory card but could not get any relief.

The Kerala High Court had agreed with the police contention that evidence cannot be handed over to the accused.

As per the police complaint, the conspiracy to abduct and assault the actress in a moving car was hatched by Dileep. Dileep was arrested on July 10, 2017 and was granted bail on October 3. The actress, who has worked in Tamil and Telugu films, was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car a group of men, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped.

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