Thodupuzha, Kerala: A sessions court in Kerala's Thodupuzha will today pronounce its order on whether Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien should be made an accused in the Suryanelli rape case. The case relates to a 16-year-old girl from Suryanelli in Kerala's Idukki district who was abducted in January 1996 and taken to various places and sexually exploited by at least 40 persons.
Here are the top 10 developments in the case:
- The court will give its order on a plea filed by the Suryanelli rape survivor challenging the dismissal of an earlier complaint by her filed before a magistrate court seeking further investigation into the involvement of Mr Kurien in the case.
- The plea is based on revelations made by Dharmarajan, a lawyer and the only man convicted in the rape case. In February this year, Dharmarajan had told a regional TV channel Mathrabhumi that he had driven the Congress leader to the Kumili Guest House where the gang-rape survivor alleges she was assaulted by Mr Kurien.
- However, on May 29, Dharmarajan told a sessions court in Kerala that he had implicated Mr Kurien on the suggestions of a local journalist. In court, Dharamarajan claimed he was drunk at the time of the interview and was financially not doing well.
- The Kerala government had on June 6 submitted an affidavit in the High Court opposing the plea by the rape survivor.
- Repeated police investigations in the past have found Mr Kurien to be not involved in this case and he was exonerated by the High Court. The rape survivor has, however, maintained that Mr Kurien was one of the people who had raped her in the Kumili Guest House and that he should be tried.
- Mr Kurien was exonerated by the Supreme Court in 2007 in the case. He was not among the 35 men tried for the woman's rape by the Kerala High Court.
- The Congressman has maintained that he had been cleared of the charges by the Supreme Court and has called this a 'political conspiracy.'
- The rape survivor has reiterated that the police did not investigate Mr Kurien long or hard enough because of his political clout.
- Her allegations have been made after the Supreme Court set aside the Kerala High Court's order, and asked for a retrial of the rape case to be completed within six months.
- In 2005, the Kerala High Court acquitted 34 men of the rape of the teenager. Dharmrajan, the only person convicted in the case, was ordered in February by a Kottayam court to serve the life term handed to him in 2002 by a special court. Dharmarajan, who had been on the run since 2002, after he was granted bail, was arrested in Sagar in Karnataka. He is lodged at the Central Jail in Thiruvananthapram.