The Kerala High Court on Thursday refused to put a stay on the Crime Branch investigation against Malayalam actor Dileep and others who have been accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill officials investigating a 2017 sexual assault case, PTI reported.

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.

In January, filmmaker Balachandrakumar had 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”. The police then booked Dileep and five other persons in the case. They have invoked sections pertaining to intimidation and criminal conspiracy.

Senior Advocate B Raman Pillai and Advocates Philip T Varghese and Thomas T Varghese, appearing for the accused persons, had sought a stay order on the probe in the conspiracy case till a decision is made on Dileep’s plea to quash further investigation into the sexual assault case.

“The investigation cannot be stayed,” Justice K Haripal of the Kerala High Court, however, said on Thursday.

Dileep had earlier submitted to the court that the Crime Branch has levelled “false and fabricated” allegations of destruction of evidence against him and the other accused connected to the case, as well as their lawyers. He had alleged that the Crime Branch was “peddling lies after lies”.