Amid widespread demand for speedy proceedings in rape cases, the Supreme Court today decided to hear urgently an appeal against the acquittal of accused in the 17-year-old Suryanelli rape case in which a woman from Kerala was allegedly raped by 42 men for 40 days.
With the appeal pending at apex court itself for eight years, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir assured that hearings would begin on it within three weeks.
The bench gave the assurance after it was brought to its notice during mentioning period that the appeal against the acquittal of accused in the case is pending in the apex court for last eight years.
The Suryanelli rape case involves gangrape of a 16-year-old girl continuously for 40 days by 42 men in 1996.
The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala was abducted in January 1996 and was transported from place to place across Kerala.
On September 6, 2000, the special court had sentenced 35 persons to rigorous imprisonment for varying terms.
The Kerala High Court, however, acquitted all 35 convicts earlier and found only one of them person guilty of crimes related to the sex trade and sentenced him to five years jail term and a fine of Rs 50,000.
Later her family and the state moved the Supreme Court in 2005 against the high court's verdict.