The Supreme Court has extended till December 31 the time granted to the Kerala High Court to complete the fresh hearing on the appeals filed by the accused in the Suryanelli case.

The time was extended by the apex court after considering an application by the High Court for extending the time fixed for the completion of the hearing on the appeals.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K.T. Sankaran and Justice M.L. Joseph Francis is hearing the appeals. The Bench was of the view that at least three to four months were needed to complete the hearing on the appeals.

The Supreme Court had ordered the hearing and disposal of the appeals afresh within six months from January 31, while reversing the High Court order acquitting all, except prime accused Dharmarajan, in the case. The hearing of the appeals began on April 2.

The High Court was of the view that because of the voluminous oral and documentary evidence, it would not be possible to dispose of the appeals within the prescribed time limit.

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