New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the trial in the sensational actress attack case in which popular Malayalam actor Dileep is an accused.
The apex court said it would consider a plea by Dileep seeking copy of the files in a memory card, deemed the major evidence in the case, after summer vacation. The Kerala government, which has opposed Dileep's plea, requested the court to give it time to confirm whether the memory card could be considered as a document or a material evidence.
The Supreme Court bench, chaired by Justice A M Khanwilkar, had observed that the trial court can take a call on whether to hand over the visuals in the memory card to Dileep, if it is considered as a document.
Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for Dileep, contends that the memory card is a document but the prosecution says it is a material which does not come under the I-T Act and cannot be handed over.
In his petition, Dileep states that he has a right to get evidence relating to the case which includes the memory card in which the attack visuals have been stored. Rohatgi argued that Dileep has a right to access all kinds of evidence that prosecution is producing against him.
The Kerala government had last month told the Supreme Court that it will not press for framing of charges against him before the trial court in the case till his pending plea in the apex court for access to visuals of assault captured by main accused Pulsar Suni is decided.
The government said an understanding has been arrived at with Dileep in this regard.
Dileep earlier argued in the Supreme Court that till his plea seeking a copy of crucial memory card (to prove his innocence) is decided, simultaneous framing of charges would result in "violation of natural justice" and "irreparable damage" to him.
Dileep has argued before the apex court that the copy of the footage of the incident is "very essential and crucial" for him to prove his innocence in the case. Dileep maintains the visuals had been manipulated and doctored to frame him.
The government of Kerala has, however, opposed his plea for the copy of the visuals and accused him of being the "chief conspirator".
The government's counsel observed there is no requirement under law to share all the material with the accused.
His plea for the copy of the memory card was turned down earlier by the Angamaly Magistrate Court and the Kerala High Court.
The south Indian actress was abducted and assaulted in a moving car on February 17, 2017. Dileep was arrested in July same year in connection with the case.
(With inputs from IANS)