The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear actor Dileep's plea on December 11; he had approached the top court seeking a copy of the digital evidence of the alleged assault of a noted south Indian actress, in which he is facing trial.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Hemant Gupta said they will see if the memory card, containing the clip, is "material or document" which is part of police report under the Evidence Act. The bench said it will also consider provisions under the Information and Technology Act.
During the hearing, the apex court asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Malayalam actor, whether the memory card of a mobile is "document" under section 207 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and if it can be supplied to Dileep.
Rohatgi sought time to prove that the memory card is a document under section 207 of CrPC, after which the court posted the matter for December 11.
The top court also expressed agreement with Kerala High Court's observations, that the video of the alleged assault is too sensitive to be let out. The actor claimed that he has the right to access the memory card, which is considered as crucial evidence in the case.
In defence of his client, Rohatgi told the court that the actor was not named in the original charge sheet and was framed by the alleged victim as an afterthought, due to enmity. He added that his client has the right to obtain the clip.
Earlier, the actor had moved a lower court in Kerala and the state's High Court seeking access to the memory card, but did not get a favourable outcome. The courts had agreed with the police contention that evidence cannot be handed over to the accused.
As per the police, the conspiracy to abduct and assault the actress in a moving car was hatched by Dileep. The actor 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 by a group of men, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped.