Staff Reporter

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday adjourned to November 16 the hearing on a revision petition filed by P.J. Kurien, MP, against the Thodupuzha Sessions Court's order dismissing his application seeking to discharge him from the Suryanelli rape case.

Justice R. Basant adjourned hearing when the petition came up before him. The case relates to the abduction of a minor girl from her residence at Suryanelli in Idukki district by a bus conductor on the promise of marrying her. He then confined her at various places in the State and allowed several people to sexually assault her under threat and coercion, the prosecution alleged.

While disposing of a petition filed by Mr. Kurien challenging the High Court order upholding a trial court order arraigning him as an accused in the case, the Supreme Court directed the trial court to deal with the discharge petition uninfluenced by the observations made by the High Court.

The Bench also directed that Prof. Kurien be released on bail on his appearing before the trial court. The High Court in 1999 had dismissed a petition by Mr. Kurien holding that no ground had been made for quashing the proceedings before the Peeremedu Judicial First Class Magistrate, who had found a prima facie case of rape against the petitioner.

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