NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside Kerala high court verdict acquitting 35 accused in the 1996 Suryanelli gang rape case.
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 the state of Kerala challenging the acquittal of the accused in the case.
The Supreme Court has sent back the case toKerala HC asking it to take a fresh look at it.
The apex court on January 3, this year had decided to hear the appeal against the acquittal of the 35 accused in the gangrape case on an urgent basis within three weeks.
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 apex court for the last eight years.
The Suryanelli rape case involves gang rape of a 16-year-old girl continuously for 40 days by 42 men in 1996.
The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996 and was transported from place to place across Kerala.
On September 6, 2000, the special court had sentenced 35 persons to rigorous imprisonment for varying terms.
The Kerala HC acquitted all 35 convicts earlier and found only one of them person guilty of crimes related to the sex trade and sentenced him to five years jail term and a fine of Rs 50,000.
Later her family and the state moved the Supreme Court in 2005 against the high court’s verdict.
‘Will fight Suryanelli case till big fish are convicted’
New Delhi: Welcoming the Supreme Court ruling in Suryanelli case, a women’s body on Friday said that they will continue to fight the case till all perpetrators are brought to book.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision in this case. Proper action should be taken against the accused,” general secretary All India Democratic Women’s Association Sudha Sundararaman said here.
The apex court has yesterday set aside Kerala High Court’s order acquitting 35 accused in the Suryanelli gang-rape case of 1996 in which a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped for over 40 days.
The Kerala State president of AIDWA TN Seema visited the victim and her family after the SC decision and assured them of support, President All India Democratic Women’s Association Subhashini Ali said in a statement.
“We have assured them that AIDWA would fight the case till justice was done and until the big fish among the accused, like Congress leader P Kurien, are convicted,” it said