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Supreme Court sets aside acquittals in Suryanelli case

Supreme Court sets aside acquittals in Suryanelli case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court’s order acquitting 35 accused in the 1996 Suryanelli rape case in which a 16-year-old girl was gangraped for over 40 days.

A bench headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik sent the case back to the High Court for taking a fresh look at it.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Kerala challenging the acquittals in the case.

The Kerala High Court had acquitted 35 persons who were convicted by a special court in September 2000.

The High Court had found only one person guilty of crime related to sex trade and had sentenced him to five years in jail and a fine of Rs. 50,000.

The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996 and was transported from place to place across Kerala.

The Supreme Court on January 3, 2013 had decided to hear on an urgent basis within three weeks the appeal against the acquittal of the 35 accused in the gang rape case.

The bench had given the assurance after it was brought to its notice that the appeal against the High Court verdict had been pending in the Supreme Court for the last eight years.

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