New Delhi: The Supreme Court today indicated it will speed up hearing of appeals pending before it in sexual harassment and other cases related to crime against women.
“Please wait for a week. I have something in mind. All matters like this one pending from 2004 and 2005 will be speeded up,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices J Chelameswar and Vikramjit Sen said.
The remarks were made during the case relating to the Suryanelli rape incident, in which 42 men had allegedly gangraped a 16-year-old girl for over 40 days in 1996.
The court on January 3 had decided to hear urgently the appeal against the acquittal of accused in rape case within three weeks. The bench had given the assurance after it was brought to its notice that appeal against the acquittal of accused in the case is pending in the apex court for the last eight years.
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 people 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.