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Suriyanelli case: Victim's petition posted for hearing

Suriyanelli case: Victims petition posted for hearing

Kochi: The High Court on Thursday posted for hearing the petition filed by Suriyanelli case victim challenging the order of discharge of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien from the case in 2007.

The division bench comprising justice S Sirijagan and Justice K Ramakrishnan, however, did not specify any date when the hearing would commence.

The petition has not been admitted so far.

Another division bench had earlier declined to hear the petition after a single judge referred the matter to a higher bench observing that the issue involved was likely to arise in future also. Therefore an authoritative decision will be 'highly profitable'.

The High Court had in 2007 acquitted Kurien for lack of evidence.

Challenging the decision, the victim, who was allegedly raped by 40 odd men in 1996 when she was only 16, had approached the court stating that the order was passed without hearing her. She was also not made party to earlier proceedings, it was submitted.

A Special Court had sentenced 36 persons to rigorous imprisonment in 2000. However, on an appeal, the High Court acquitted all of them except one stating that the girl had consensual sex with all of them.

The case was pending in the Supreme Court for over 8 years.

After the shocking incident of gangrape of a paramedic student in a Delhi bus in December last year, the case came up before the apex court which reversed the earlier judgement of the High Court.

One the of the accused, Dharmarajan, was arrested after he spoke to a television channel a couple of months ago.

Though Kurien was never made an accused in the case, the victim, who recognised him after his photograph appeared in a newspaper report, had alleged that he was among her tormentors.

A court in Idukki had in March this year rejected a plea by the victim for a re-probe into the alleged involvement of Kurien in the case, holding that there was no new ground for a fresh investigation.


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