The Kerala High Court on Friday confirmed the verdict of the Kottayam Additional Sessions Court awarding rigorous imprisonment of various terms to six accused, including two college teachers, in a 1997 case relating to sexual exploitation of a college girl at Pandalam. Justice P. Bhavadasan, however, modified the sentences and enhanced the fine awarded to the accused while dismissing an appeal filed by them.

The prosecution case was that the girl studying in the Pandalam NSS College was sexually exploited by the accused. The accused are K. Venugopal, lecturer at the department of English; B. Ravindranatha Pillai, lecturer at the same department (since dead); C.M. Prakash, lecturer at the department of Botany; M. Venugopal, a contractor; Jyothish Kumar, a provision store owner; Manoj Kumar, a former panchayat member; and K.G. Shah George, a TV serial producer. Yet another accused college teacher Radhakrishan committed suicide during the trial of the case.

The scandal came to light when the victim, a student who was expecting a rank in the final-year degree examination, informed her parents of the goings-on.

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