The Kerala High Court on Tuesday allowed the Crime Branch’s plea seeking forensic analysis of the memory card containing visuals of the actress assault incident of 2017.
The petition was considered by the single bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas.
In the order allowing the Crime Branch’s plea, the court dictated, “Prosecution to immediately, within two days from the date of receipt of the judgment forward the document to the State Forensic Science Laboratory through the mode envisaged by law. State Forensic Science Lab to analyse the document as requested and submit a report to the Investigating Officer with the copy to the court in a sealed cover within 7 days. The timeline specified must be adhered to, without any delay in the further investigation and trial of the case.”
The forensic examination was sought by the Crime Branch to confirm the illegal access of the memory card as a change was noted in its hash value, suggesting that the file has been tampered with.
The Crime Branch or the prosecution pointed out in its petition that the memory card and the files contained in it could have been accessed several times, and only a detailed forensic examination can find out when it was opened the last time.
Though the changes made in the hash value were reported to the trial court on January 29, 2020, the same was not intimated to the prosecution till February 2022.
The Kerala High Court, in its earlier order, has granted time till July 15 to the prosecution to conclude further investigation of the 2017 Actress Assault Case.
Earlier on June 28, the trial court dismissed the plea of the prosecution seeking to cancel the bail granted to actor Dileep in the 2017 actress assault case. The prosecution argued that Mr Dileep, who is the eighth accused in this case, has influenced the witnesses and attempted to tamper with the evidence.
Mr Dileep is the Malayalam actor who has been the eighth accused in the case apart from Sunil Kumar, Martin Antony, Manikantan, VP Vijeesh, Salim, Pradeep, and Charley Thomas.
Earlier, on April 4, the Crime Branch of the state police had filed the same petition to forward the memory card allegedly containing the visuals of the crime for forensic examination, but the Ernakulam Additional Special Sessions Court rejected its petition on May 9, and the Crime Branch of the state police had challenged the order.
The case pertains that an actress, who worked in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films, was allegedly abducted and molested inside her car by a group of men who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of 17 February 2017.