The Madras High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by 14 accused in the Ayanavaram child rape case, seeking transfer of the probe to the CBI.
Rejecting the petition, Justice A D Jagadish Chandira said, "No specific material fact has been averted in the petition regarding mala fide exercise of power by the Inspector of Police who is the investigated the case.
"The petitioners have not made out any extraordinary or special grounds for transfer of investigation or for further investigation."
The matter relates to the rape of an 11-year-old hearing-impaired girl by a group of 17 people working at an apartment complex in Ayanavaram locality here, as plumbers, housekeepers, security guards and lift operators.
The girl was allegedly sexually assaulted several times by the accused over seven months.
All 17 were first arrested, and then detained under Goondas Act.
Recently, the Goondas Advisory Board also confirmed the detention of the 17 under the Act.
Claiming that the allegations against them were false, the petitioners said it was very strange that the minor girl was still alive despite the claim of her having been "raped" on multiple occasions.
Noting that they had no bad antecedents, the petitioners alleged that all of them have lost their jobs and were forced to vacate their house by the landlords.
Adverse media reports had prejudiced the minds of police and others, they claimed.
The horrific incident had led to shock and outrage and the arrested had been attacked by some lawyers in the court when they were produced on July 17.
According to police, the girl was sedated with injections, drug-laced soft drinks and made to sniff a powder by the accused before sexually assaulting her repeatedly.
The incident had come to light after the victim, a class seven student, narrated her ordeal to her elder sister, who then informed their parents.
Following this a police complaint was lodged on July 15.