The victim in the Suryanelli rape case may approach the High Court, demanding a further probe in to the role of P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, in the case.
Sources close to the girl told The Hindu that the petition demanding further investigation into the allegation that Mr. Kurien raped her at Kumily panchayat guest house on February 19, 1996, would be filed at the High Court by next Monday.
There was some initial confusion on whether the petition should be filed at a trial court or a higher court, but it was finally decided to approach the High Court after legal opinion was sought, sources said. The move comes in the light of a new revelation made by S.S. Dharmarajan, the third accused and only convict in the case, to the media before he was arrested. Witnesses also gave statements indicting Mr. Kurien. A couple of witnesses retracted their earlier statements which exposed the loopholes in the alibis for Mr. Kurien in the case.
Sources said that if the court ordered further investigation in the case, all the witnesses would need to be questioned again and allegations of their statements not being recorded properly could be verified.
K.S. Rajan, then Alappuzha district secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was earlier recorded as having met Mr. Kurien at a house in Thiruvalla on the day of crime at 7 p.m. Mr. Rajan told the media recently that his statements were not recorded properly by the Special Investigation Team led by then DIG (Crime) Siby Mathews.
The girl had written to her counsel at the Supreme Court, seeking advice on how to take the complaint against Mr. Kurien forward. Despite the complaint, Mr. Kurien was cleared from the case after his discharge petition was accepted by the High Court and later endorsed by the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, sources expressed hope that the High Court would start hearing the case against acquitting the 35 accused in the case, as directed by the Supreme Court before this month end. The High Court bench comprising Justice K.A. Abdul Gafoor and R. Basant acquitted 35 persons, earlier convicted by the special court and reduced the life imprisonment sentence awarded to Mr. Dharmarajan to five years.