A special bench of the Kerala high court, constituted to hear the Suriyanelli rape case, on Monday issued notice to Dharmarajan, prime accused in the case.
A division bench comprising justices K T Shankaran and M L Joseph Francis, hearing the bail pleas of the accused in the case, issued the notice through jail superintendent.
Despite the Supreme Court directions, Dharmarajan did not appear in the high court even though the hearing of bail applications commenced last week, following which notice was issued. The new bench is hearing the bail pleas filed by 35 accused in the case, who were earlier acquitted by the high court.
The apex court court had on January 31 stayed the 2005 high court judgement acquitting the accused and reducing the life sentence of third accused, Dharmarajan to 5 years. The sessions court had sentenced the 35 accused to various terms of imprisonment which had been challenged by them in the high court.
Dharmarajan, who was absconding and had been arrested recently from Sagar in Karnataka, is presently lodged at the Poojapura jail in Thiruvananthapuram to undergo rest of his sentence.
The case relates to the rape of a 16-year-old girl of Suriyanelli in Idukki district in 1996. The victim, a school girl, was allegedly abducted and taken to different places and sexually exploited by 40 odd persons.
The victim had also filed a complaint against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, listing him as an accused in the case along with three others in the light of revelations by Dharmarajan to a TV channel.