There have been no exceptional circumstances warranting the suspension of the varying period of sentences awarded by the Kottayam Special Court to the accused in the Suryanelli rape case and the consequent release of them on bail, the State government said in a statement filed before a Division Bench of Kerala High Court on Friday.

In the statement, the government said the accused did not deserve the benefits of bail as they had been sentenced for a heinous offence. The statement filed by Director-General of Prosecution T.Asaf Ali said since there was a finding by a competent court on the guilt of the accused, the petitioners could not “claim the benefits of presumption of innocence for getting their sentence suspended”.

The court had to consider the grave nature of the crime perpetrated on the victim before granting them bail, the government pleaded in the statement. The statement said the Supreme Court had fixed a deadline of six months for disposing of the appeals. Besides, the petitioners could not claim suspension of the sentence on the ground that there would be inordinate delay in deciding the appeals.

The petitioners could not plead for bail without surrendering before a competent court. It was trite law that in order to get bail, the accused must have been in confinement or custody.

The petitioners were now free as their bail bond had been rescinded following their acquittal by the High Court and they must surrender before a competent court before moving bail petitions.

The Bench comprising Justice K.T. Sanakran and Justice M.L. Joseph Francis had posted to March 4 the hearing as the record of the case from the Supreme Court was yet to reach the High Court.

The petitions filed by as many as 18 accused sought to suspend the sentence of rigorous imprisonment awarded by the special court and release them on bail pending fresh consideration of the appeals.

  • Government files report before Division Bench

  • Says accused do not deserve benefits of bail