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HC verdict on appeals in Suryanelli case on Friday

April 02, 2014 01:46 am | Updated June 13, 2016 06:24 am IST - KOCHI:

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court will pronounce its verdict on April 4 on appeals filed by the accused in the Suryanelli rape case.

The Bench comprising Justice K. T. Sankaran and Justice M. L. Joseph Francis had reserved judgment on conclusion of the arguments a couple of months back.

The case relates to the abduction and sexual exploitation of a minor girl hailing from Suryanelli in Idukki district by several persons in 1996. The prosecution case was that the schoolgirl was enticed, abducted, and sexually exploited by a bus conductor on January 16, 1996. She was later handed over to two others, including the prime accused Dharmarajan who was a lawyer by profession. The girl was taken later by them to various places and presented to several men.

According to the prosecution, the girl had been raped 67 times by 37 different people during the 40 days from January 16, 1996, to February 26, 1996. As many as 35 accused were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for varying terms from 10 years to 13 years by the Kottayam Special Court on charges of rape, gang rape, and kidnapping.

However, the High Court had acquitted all the accused except Dharmarajan.

On an appeal by the State government, the Apex Court had reversed the High Court verdict and asked it to consider afresh the appeals filed by the accused.

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