Dileep moves Kerala High Court to gag media in actress assault trial

By – Yash Rawat

Malayalam cine actor Dileep, who’s one of the indicted in the 2017 case involving the hijacking and assault of an actress, has approached the Kerala High Court dogging orders to restrain media from reporting on the trial of the case till the final verdict is pronounced.

 When the trial before the sessions court began, there was a huge media rampage and Dileep, the eighth indicted in the case, had moved the Fresh Special Sessions Judge (SPE/ CBI)-III, Ernakulam for issuing a direction to enjoin media publication of court proceedings.

 The trial judge had allowed Dileep’s plea and directed that nothing should publish or publish the proceedings in connection with the case except the matters permitted as per the directions of the Supreme Court in Nipun Saxena & Anr. v Union of India & Ors.

 Still, according to Dileep, indeed after the trial judge’s monkeyshine order, the media resorted to the publication of matters in violation of Section 327 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

This urged him to approach the High Court through lawyers Philip T Varghese, Thomas T Varghese, Achu Shubha Abraham, Litha VT, Monisha KR, and Nitya.

 The solicitation particularly mentioned Journalist Television, the protagonist of which has been disposed of as the third replier.

 The CEO of the company, Nikesh Kumar, is an intelligencer nurturing political bournes who had queried and lost in the 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly choices, the plea refocused out.

 Kumar was cited as an execution substantiation and had deposed before the trial court which listed his reappraisal on December 29, 2021.

“While so, the 3rd replier telecast through their‘ Journalist Television’as‘ Breaking News’and‘ Exclusive’, interview with a person named Mr. P Balachandra Kumar on25.12.2021,” the plea claimed.

 Kumar also appeared along with Balachandra Kumar and both of them made statements professing that Dileep was a close familiarity of the first indicted, Pulsar Suni.

 Pertinently, the plea also contended that the statements made by Balachandra Kumar were tutored by the probing officer in the case” with the deliberate intention to prejudice the mind of the public against the supplicant and impact the outgrowth of the trial which is pending before the Sessions Court.”

 While the main grievance raised in the solicitation was regarding Journalist Television, Dileep also contended that several other print, digital and social media platforms are now publishing and publishing matters in a shot to contend with Journalist Television, encouraged by the fact that no action has been taken by the State Police or the Probing Officer against similar publication.

This amounts to felonious disdain and which is in violation of the accreditation of Section 327 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is an offense chargeable and punishable under Section 228 A (3) of the Indian Penal Code, it’s submitted.

 These conduct by media quantum to trial by media which impedes the right to a fair trial guaranteed to the indicted.

 The same is a poke to two foundational principles of law, videlicet the rule of law and the administration of justice by courts, the plea said.

 According to Dileep, there’s a real and substantial threat of prejudice to the proper administration of justice and to the fairness of trial by similar publication.

In similar circumstances, he argued that the Court is bound to pass an order delaying the reporting of all matters concerning the trial till the conclusion of the trial laid down by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Sahara Real Estate Corporation Limited & Ors. v Securities and Exchange Board of India & Anr.