The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes has decided to reinstate actor Dileep, who was expelled from the organisation in July 2017 over his alleged involvement in the abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actress, reports said. The decision was taken at a general body meeting in Kochi on Sunday, after actor Mohanlal took charge as president of the guild for film industry members.

Several senior actors reportedly spoke up in favour of Dileep’s return to the organisation, saying that due procedure was not followed during his expulsion. The actor now has to decide if he wants to take up AMMA’s offer.

According to The News Minute, actor Siddique told Malayalam Manorama that “even though Dileep could have approached the court against the association’s action, it was good that he did not do so. If he had moved legally against his removal, the story would have been different.”

Dileep was removed from AMMA and the Kerala Film Producers Association after he was arrested for allegedly planning the February 2017 abduction and sexual assault of an actress. Reports said Dileep had planned the attack as he held a grudge against her. Dileep was given conditional bail after 85 days in jail. The trial proceedings in the case began at the Principal Sessions Court in Ernakulam on March 14.

The Women in Cinema Collective, an organisation for women in Malayalam cinema that was formed in May 2017 in the wake of the sexual assault case, lashed out at AMMA for the decision through a statement comprising seven questions, which include, “Don’t you feel there is an anomaly in taking back a rape accused to the association even before the investigation is over?”, “Isn’t this decision to reinstate Dileep into the association of which the survivor is still a part of, insulting her?” and “As a person who is case is still under investigation, doesn’t this decision challenge the legal system of the land?”