Actor Dileep on Thursday approached the Kerala High Court challenging further investigation by the Crime Branch in a sexual assault case against him, PTI reported.

He contended that further investigation was not permissible as a final report had been filed in the matter in November 2017 and charges were framed in January 2020. The actor claimed that the police were carrying out a “a series of vindictive acts” in the garb of inquiry.

According to Dileep’s petition, one such act was the filing of an purportedly false case against him and his male family members for allegedly conspiring to murder an investigating officer in the sexual assault case.

The actor contended that allowing the investigation to continue would infringe on his right to a fair trial, The Hindu reported. He claimed that the police had filed a petition seeking permission to conduct further investigation only to fabricate new evidence against him, and rectify the shortcomings in the investigation in the sexual assault case.

Dileep demanded a declaration that further investigation was illegal and a direction to the trial court to go ahead with the proceedings in the sexual assault case.

On February 17, 2017, an actor was allegedly kidnapped and sexually abused inside her car for two hours. Dileep is among the 10 accused persons in the case and is the alleged mastermind of the assault. The accused persons had reportedly filmed the assault to blackmail the woman.

The case took another turn in January after filmmaker Balachandrakumar released a purported audio clip in which Dileep could be 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 investigated the sexual assault case], we would have to see another Rs 1.50 crore”.

After this, the Kerala Police’s Crime Branch had registered a new first information report against Dileep and others for allegedly conspiring to kill the investigating officer.

On Thursday, the Kerala High Court heard Dileep’s petition for anticipatory bail. During the hearing, senior advocate Raman Pillai, appearing for the actor, argued that the police should have recorded the statement of Balachandrakumar while filing the second FIR, rather than basing it on a letter of the investigating officer in the 2017 case, according to Live Law.

The actor’s lawyer said that the case pertaining to the alleged murder conspiracy was “a totally invented made-up story”.

“Their [police’s] evidence in the 2017 case is absolutely shattered,” Pillai said. “They know they are going to fail. So they are trying to implicate me in another case.”