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Suryanelli gangrape case: Kerala HC to hear bail pleas of 14 accused


Naveen Nair,CNN-IBN
Feb 25, 2013 at 09:17am IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Following an order from the Supreme Court on the Suryanelli gangrape case, the Kerala High Court will start hearing the bail pleas of 14 of the 36 accused on Monday. The list does not include Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien as he is not an accused in the case.

The reconsideration in the high court can have a politically significant impact on Kurien because of his alleged involvement. The re-trial will start only at a later stage. The court will decide on the date of further hearing on Monday. The only convict - SS Dharmarajan - who was absconding was arrested in Karnataka earlier this month.

In a new twist to Suryanelli gangrape case, the survivor on Friday lodged a police complaint insisting that Kurien be made an accused. The complaint lodged at Chingavanam police station also sought that Dharmarajan, an absconding convict who had jumped bail in the case and was arrested recently from Karnataka, and two other persons - Unnikrishnan and Jamal, be also arraigned as accused.

According to the complainant, Dharmarajan had told a television channel that he had accompanied Kurien to Kumily rest house in his car on February 19, 1996 where the girl was sexually exploited. The girl and her parents had come to the police station to file the complaint. The Assistant Sub-Inspector accepted the complaint but refused to register the case saying the Sub-Inspector was not present, the survivor's counsel Anila George said. She said the girl's plea was to make Kurien an accused. So far, there is no police case or FIR against Kurien. "When his name came up, police went after alibis and they have come to the conclusion that it was not possible for Kurien to be at the Kumily rest house because of the alibis. So he was never made an accused," George claimed.

The counsel said in the light of new amendment to CrPC 166A, when a girl makes a complaint police authorities are bound to register a crime, failing which they are liable to be prosecuted. Kurien's name figured again in connection with the case recently after the victim wrote to her advocate to explore the possibility of filing a review plea in the Supreme Court, seeking a fresh probe against him. Kurien has maintained he has been cleared of the charges by the apex court.

The case relates to the girl hailing from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala being abducted in January 1996 and transported to various places and sexually exploited by different persons. According to the complainant, Dharmarajan had told a television channel that he had accompanied Kurien to Kumily rest house in his car on February 19, 1996 where the victim had been sexually exploited. Kurien's name figured again in connection with the case recently after the victim wrote to her advocate to explore the possibility of filing a review plea in the Supreme Court, seeking a fresh probe against him. Kurien has maintained he has been cleared of the charges by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had recently quashed the Kerala High Court's acquittal of 35 accused in the case. The case relates to the victim hailing from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala being abducted in January 1996 and transported to various places and sexually exploited by different persons.

With additional information from PTI

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