Actress's plea to change court in assault case rejected

Kerala High Court rejects actress's plea to change court in sexual assault case

The actress and the prosecution approached the High Court alleging that a fair trial was being denied by the additional sessions court in Kochi

Kerala High Court. Credit: PTI file photo.

In a setback to the South Indian actress who allegedly suffered a sexual assault, the Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the plea of the actress and the prosecution to change trial court.

The actress and the prosecution approached the High Court alleging that a fair trial was being denied by the additional sessions court (special-CBI) in Kochi.

The actress was abducted and sexually assaulted by a gang, in an act allegedly engaged by Dileep to settle personal scores, in February 2017 at Kochi. The gang allegedly shot the video of the assault. Dileep, who is an accused, was arrested in this connection in July 2017 and was granted bail in October.

In the plea seeking shifting trial filed last month, the victim stated that she was being denied a fair trial. She also reportedly stated that even as she turned emotional during the trial the court did not interfere. The prosecution stated that victim often faced harassment during the trial and the court hardly controlled it. Around 20 lawyers representing the accused were present for examining the victim during the in-camera trial and the victim faced severe harassment.

The HC rejected the plea citing that the victim or prosecution did not submit adequate evidence to substantiate their concerns. The court also directed that the trial should resume from Monday even as the prosecution sought a stay on trial for one more week for approaching the Supreme Court.

The trial was earlier assigned to the CBI special court with a woman judge by the High Court considering the victim's plea.