The Kerala Police’s Crime Branch on Sunday registered a case against Malayalam actor Dileep in connection with allegations that he conspired to kill an investigating officer in a 2017 sexual assault case in which he is an accused person, The Indian Express reported.

The new case is based on a purported audio clip in which Dileep is heard asking some persons to “wait to see how the five investigating officers are going to suffer”. Another person is reportedly heard saying that if a “truck is hitting Baiju Poulose [the deputy superintendent of police who probed the sexual assault case], we would have to see another Rs 1.50 crore”.

Filmmaker Balachandrakumar, who said that he was a friend of Dileep, released the audio clip, according to The News Minute. The clip was subsequently aired by Malayalam news channel Reporter TV, which led to the first information report.

The police have booked Dileep and five other persons in the case. They have invoked sections pertaining to intimidation and criminal conspiracy. The others named as accused persons in the case are the actor’s brother Anoop, Dileep’s brother-in-law Sooraj, a man that Balachandrakumar referred to as “VIP” and two others.

The police have alleged that Dileep was the mastermind behind the abduction and sexual assault of a female actor. The actor was allegedly sexually abused inside her car for two hours on February 17, 2017.

The Kerala government has constituted a new team to investigate the recent developments. The team will be headed by Additional Director General of Police Sreejith.

Last week, the trial court in Kochi asked the police to file a report based on Balachandrakumar’s allegations by January 20.

Meanwhile, the police have filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking its approval to re-examine some witnesses in the light of the purported audio clip. Earlier, the trial court had rejected the plea.

The Kerala government had also filed a petition before the High Court demanding that the judge presiding over the trial be replaced. It stated that it was aggrieved by the “biased, hostile and partisan” conduct of the trial court.

However, both the High Court and the Supreme Court rejected the petition in December 2020.