The Kerala High Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a plea moved by Malayalam cine actor Dileep to quash the first information report (FIR) filed against him and five others for allegedly conspiring to murder the police officers investigating the 2017 actress assault case in which he is an accused [P Gopalakrishnan @ Dileep v State of Kerala & Ors.].Justice Ziyad Rahman AA heard the case elaborately this week before reserving his order today. The judge also stated that he would deliver the judgement within a week's time. .Dileep and his associates were already being tried by at the Additional Sessions (CBI special No III) Court in Ernakulam for allegedly planning and executing a revenge crime against a prominent actress by having her abducted, sexually assaulted and photographed in a moving vehicle.The trial which has seen its share of controversies was nearing completion when a film director, Balachandra Kumar, gave an interview to media and released some audio clips indicating close association between Dileep, who is the 8th accused in the case, and Pulsar Suni, the 1st accused. The clips and Kumar's statements revealed a conspiracy to kill the police officers who were involved in the investigation of the actress assault case. This led to registration of an FIR against Dileep and five others for offences punishable under Sections 116 (offering bribe to public servant), 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.On February 7, the Kerala High Court granted the accused, including Dileep, anticipatory bail in the matter. Subsequently, he had approached the High Court to quash further investigation into the 2017 actress assault case but the same was declined by the Court.Dileep later approached the Court to quash all further proceedings in the case of alleged conspiracy to murder police officers. Alternatively, he also prayed that the investigation in the case be transferred from the Crime Branch of the State Police to another investigating agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)..The main arguments raised by the petitioner and the prosecution are summarised below. .Contentions of the Petitioner - represented by Senior Advocate Siddharth Agarwal and advocates Philip T Varghese, Thomas T Varghese, Achu Shubha Abraham, Litha VT, Monisha KR and Nitya RAs the Investigating Officer (Baiju Paulose) in the 2017 actress assault case is the supposed victim in this case, it is a bogus case that has been concocted to satisfy some personal vendetta against Dileep;The audio clips and statements given by Balachandra Kumar only point to mere utterances of anger towards the investigating officers. That alone will not attract the offence of criminal conspiracy under Section 120B IPC;"This is a peculiar case where one wants to deal with conspiracy as if it is a mathematical formula. If that is the threshold the law requires...we are leading the way to a police state", Agarwal said.The complaint was forwarded to the Crime Branch Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) when it should have been sent to the Station House Officer at the concerned Police Station;There are inconsistencies between the complaint that Kumar sent to the Chief Minister in November 2021 and the complaint and statement recorded by the Police;The First Information Statement did not record any mention of planning to harm police officers but the First Information Report mentions specific allegations of the same;The FIR was registered mere days after Kumar's interview aired before any proper enquiry was carried out;As the FIR does not contain information on any cognisable offence, the investigation conducted was in violation of the provisions of Section 154 (information in cognizable cases) of the Code of Criminal Procedure;Even when the prosecution had given an undertaking to the Court to not arrest Dileep during the pendency of the anticipatory bail case, raids were conducted at his places of residence with the media telecasting the same;In the order granting anticipatory bail, the Court had made some observations regarding the intense and ofter mis-representative reporting by the media. This was the result of the prosecution and the police feeding information to conduct a media trial;While granting Dileep anticipatory bail, the Court had made some prima facie observations that the offences alleged are not made out;The Court had granted anticipatory bail with conditions. If Dileep had tampered with evidence in his mobile phones, the prosecution should have moved to cancel the bail; Since several officers of the State's Crime Branch are the supposed victims in this case, the entire agency cannot be trusted to conduct a fair and impartial investigation and trial which is the right of any accused, including Dileep;Since Dileep's involvement in the 2017 actress assault case could not be proved by the Crime Branch and the prosecution, they are now attempting to implicate him in this new case which shows malafide intention..Contentions of the Prosecution - led by Director General of Prosecution, Senior Advocate TA Shaji instructed by Senior Public Prosecutor P Narayanan.Dileep is already accused in a crime of a peculiar nature in which he is accused of having given a "quotation" to commit a sexual offence. This indicates a pattern of committing crimes of this nature;In the 2017 case, the case is that the accused planned the crime since 2013 but committed the crime only in 2017. Here also, they have entered into an agreement but have deferred the committal of the crime to avoid suspicion;There is no violation of the provisions of Section 154 CrPC as the requirement is only that there must be a reasonable suspicion of commission of an offence;Balchandra Kumar is a witness to the conspiracy being hatched. Whether it establishes offence of criminal conspiracy can be considered at trial. At this stage, allegations are sufficient;Kumar had no association with the investigating officers in the 2017 actress assault case and his complaint was taken note of only because it was forwarded from the Chief Minister's office;The delay in Kumar revealing the information can be explained by the fact that he was closely acquainted with Dileep's family and was residing with them;Kumar's statement was viewed with the necessary suspicion by the investigating team and they have been able to find evidence to prove its veracity;Dileep tampered with evidence as he deleted several contact details and chats from the mobile phones before submitting them as the Court had ordered;The prima facie observations of the Court while granting anticipatory bail may not be considered in this case as is recorded in the judgement issued;Dileep is not entitled to any discretionary relief from the Court under Section 482 CrPC as he has come before the Court with soiled hands;The narrative in the media that the investigating agency is conducting a witch trial, was propagated by Dileep and his team;The allegations to raise the plea of malafides is feeble. Unless there is a demonstable bias and investigation is possible due to some manifest bias or technical reason, they cannot seek to change the investigating agency;"We are proceeding with an open mind, we are investigating all aspects of the case. Each and every material we collect we are testing and retesting it's veracity. It is not like the narrative put out by the petitioner at all. Not only dileep, every accused can rest assured that the investigation will only be in accordance with law", Shaji said. .Justice Rahman did not make many observations during the hearing but he recorded the undertaking of the prosecution that the final report in the case would not be filed until the Court delivers its verdict. Read a summary of the hearings in the anticipatory bail plea here.