In a major relief to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, the Sessions Court in Thodupuzha, Kerala, on Saturday dismissed a petition filed by the victim in the Suryanelli rape case, seeking inclusion of the Congress leader in the case.
The victim in the 17-year-old case had moved the court against Kurien, based on the revelation of the sole convict in the case Dharmarajan, who had claimed in a media interview a few months ago that he had taken Kurien in a car to a guest house at Kumily, where the girl was lodged.
Dharmarajan had later retracted the claim in court through an affidavit stating he had never met Kurien and he was in an inebriated state when he made the charge through the media.
Sessions Judge Abraham Mathew, in his order, held that the victim's plea for inclusion of Kurien in the case was not maintainable.
The victim filed the private review petition on the basis of the lone convict S S Dharmarajan’s statement that he had taken Kurien to the guest house.
A few days after his interview to a channel, Dharmarajan was arrested from Karnataka after absconding for several years by jumping bail.
Dharmarajan later retracted his statement in an affidavit filed before the court.
Two other accused in the case, Jamal and Unnikrishnan Nair, whom Dharmarajan had earlier claimed to be witnesses to the incident, had contested his claim.
The victim moved the sessions court after the Peerumade First Class Judicial Magistrate Court rejected her plea for a fresh inquiry in the case based on Dharmarajan’s statement.
The 1996 case came into focus recently after the Supreme Court invalidated the Kerala high court's verdict acquitting the 35 accused in the case.
The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996. She was taken from place to place across Kerala and sexually exploited by different persons.