SC junks Kerala rape acquittals, orders HC to re-examine case

FP

The Supreme Court Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court verdict in the infamous Suryanelli case, by which 35 men accused of raping a 16-year-old girl from Suryanelli in Kerala in 1996 were acquitted.

A bench led by Justice A K Patnaik said the high court order, passed in 2005, was legally and technically flawed, since it had relied on certain inadmissible evidence. The bench directed the high court to re-examine the matter in the light of established legal principles and pronounce a fresh verdict within six months.

It also annulled the bail orders of the accused and asked them to furnish new bonds before the high court.

In January 1996, the victim was abducted and allegedly raped by 42 men over 40 days. She was later abandoned in Tamil Nadu.

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