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Suriyanelli gangrape case posted for March 15

March 04, 2013 17:28 IST

The Kerala high court on Monday adjourned to March 15 the Suriyanelli gangrape case, allegedly involving Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, as it is awaiting various records from the apex court, including the case diary and deposition of witnesses.

Earlier the bail pleas had been posted for Monday.

A division bench, comprising justices K T Sankaran and M L Joseph Francis will hear appeals of the accused from April 2, while their bail pleas will be heard from March 15.

Though counsel for the accused wanted the case to be heard on March 8, it was adjourned to March 15 at the request of the Director General of Prosecutions.

The Supreme Court had in January set aside the Kerala high court's order, acquitting all 35 accused and directed it to hear the matter afresh.

So far 17 accused have approached the high court for bail.

Though the Director General of Prosecutions had filed an application opposing the bail pleas and stated that bail can be granted only after surrender of the accused, no serious objection was raised on Monday.

The accused contended that the Apex court had not gone into the merits of the case and judgement was on technical grounds and that there is no material evidence against them.

Dharmarajan, the third accused, who had jumped bail, was recently arrested from Karnataka. The high court had reduced his life term to five years. Following the Supreme Court judgement, he has to undergo the rest of his prison term.

The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996 and transported from place to place across Kerala and sexually exploited by different persons.

Kurien's name figured again in the case after the victim wrote to her lawyer in Delhi on Jan 29 to explore the possibility of filing a review petition, seeking a fresh probe against him. She had also faxed a letter to Chandy on February 2, seeking a fresh probe.

He has maintained that he had been cleared of the charges by the apex court.

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