Malayalam actor Dileep, accused in a 2017 sexual assault case, has moved the Kerala High Court seeking an order postponing the publication of matters related to the case until the trial in the Session Court is over, LiveLaw.
The petition has challenged an interview conducted by ReporterTV with film director P Balachnadra Kumar on December 25, where the director claimed to have knowledge of several issues regarding the case, and had “asserted guilt and involvement of the petitioner”. According to the petition, this interview was telecasted multiple times that day.
According to LiveLaw, the petitioner was apprehensive that such instances had a “deliberate intention” to prejudice the mind of the public against him and to influence the outcome of the case. He said that such programmes on ReporterTV amounted to interference with the administration of justice, prejudicing the trial, scandalising the court and a parallel media trial, thereby making it criminal contempt.
A petition was filed before the Sessions Court, as per the report. While the matter is still pending, the court had issued notice to ReporterTV, which had allegedly continued to telecast details of the in-camera trial.
Filed through advocate Philip T Varghese, the original petition had sought a directive to the State Police Chief to ensure strict compliance with the order of the Additional Special Sessions Judge which prohibited the publication of case details.
The petition said that as soon as trial commenced, media houses started publishing parts of witness depositions, which was a “misrepresentation of the facts deposed by the witnesses.” It said that such publication was in violation of Section 327(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and challenged the same before the sessions court.
In this order, the court had cited the Supreme Court’s decision which said that while there can be reporting of cases under Section 327(2) CrPC, it may not include what had transpired inside the court hall, or statements of the victim or the witness.
The actor further claimed that such publication by the media was made at the instance of the Investigating Officer and for this reason he had “avoided” taking any steps against those who had published. All media, he said, were now printing and publishing matters which amounts to criminal contempt.