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HC grants bail to accused in Suryanelli case

HC grants bail to accused in Suryanelli case

Kochi: Kerala High Court Thursday granted conditional bail to the 31 accused in the 1996 Suryanelli gangrape case.

A Division Bench comprising Justices K T Shankaran and M L Joseph Francis allowed the bail pleas filed by the accused last month.

The conditions imposed by the Court include furnishing two sureties for Rs. Rs. 50,000 and surrendering their passports.

The lone convict in the case, Dharmarajan, who was absconding and was arrested recently from Sagar in Karnataka, is now in jail, to serve the rest of his life sentence.

The court rejected the government counsel's argument that the accused should first surrender before the trial court before their plea could be taken up by High Court.

The Supreme Court had stayed the 2005 High Court judgement acquitting the accused three months ago.

The case relates to the rape of a 16-year-old girl of Suryanelli in Idukki district in 1996. The victim, a school girl, was allegedly abducted and taken to various places and sexually exploited by different persons.

The victim had also sought a fresh probe against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien, alleging that he was among those abused her. Kurien has rejected the charge.

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