31 men accused in the Suryanelli rape case have been granted bail by the division bench of the Kerala High Court subject to certain conditions.
The bail conditions state that the accused shall not leave Kerala, pay the fine required by the trial court along with a Rs 50000 bond and two solvent sureties. The condition also states that the victim in this case should not be subjected to harassment of any kind.
The accused had applied for bail after the Supreme Court asked the Kerala High Court to re-examine the evidence in the 1996 Suryanelli rape case. The High court had acquitted 35 and convicted only one person for life sentence. The trial court verdict in 2002 had convicted all accused with varying degrees of rigorous imprisonment. The High Court then reversed the trial court judgment by acquitting all except one. Since the case will now be re-examined, the accused had applied for bail.
The fresh hearing of the case in accordance to the directives of the Supreme Court is scheduled to begin on April 2.
The case relates to the rape of a 16-year-old girl of Suryanelli in Idukki district in 1996. The victim, a school girl, was allegedly abducted and taken to various places and sexually exploited by different persons.