New bench to hear Suryanelli case

A new bench has been constituted by the Kerala High Court to hear the Suriyanelli rape case.

A division bench, comprising Justices K T Shankaran and M L Joseph Francis, will hear the bail pleas filed by some of the accused on Monday.

Earlier, the special bench, constituted to hear cases relating to crimes against women, was to hear the case. Justice T R Ramachandran Nair, who was heading the bench, had recused himself from the case as he had appeared for one of the accused. Following this a new bench was created.

The Supreme Court recently stayed the 2005 High Court judgment acquitting 35 accused and reducing the life sentence of the third accused, Dharmarajan, to five years in the case.

The sessions court had sentenced the 35 accused to various terms of imprisonment, which was challenged by them in the High Court.

Dharmarajan had been absconding. He was arrested recently at Sagar in Karnataka and sent to Poojapura jail to undergo the rest of his sentence.

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