14 of the 17 accused in the Ayanavaram child rape case had moved Madras High Court seeking a trial by a different judge.

Ayanavaram child rape case wont be transferred to different judge Madras HCFile
news Court Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 15:52

The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by 14 of the 17 accused in the Ayanavaram child rape case who sought a trial by a different judge.

Justice Anand Venkatesan, who was hearing the petition, dismissed their plea and ordered that the case be completed within three weeks.

The 14 out of the 17 accused in the Ayanavaram child rape case had moved high court seeking that the case be heard by a different judge, alleging that the Mahila court judge RN Manjual is "conducting the case as media trial and hurrying it up for the best reasons known to her.”

In 14 separate arguments, the petitioners had made several allegations, including the lack of a fair trial for the accused, conducting the trial in a hurried manner, curtailing of the rights of the petitioners, lack of timely delivery of application copies and, most crucially, allowing the victim to sit with a witness during the examination. The petitioners further allege that the court could very well reject the entire trial and suo motu pass final orders in this case instead of projecting that the entire trial is conducted. The main allegation of the petitioners, the one that they have complained about at length, is the presence of the victim's sister while she was being examined. 

Speaking to TNM last week, Special Public Prosecutor ED Ramesh had stated that this appeal by the petitioners was merely an attempt to delay the case.

The case pertains to the horrific rape of an 11-year-old in Chennai’s Ayanavaram locality. The 17 men are accused of sexually abusing the 11-year-old over many months. The men reportedly drugged the child with injections, spiked soft drinks and even filmed themselves raping the child, blackmailing her into not telling her parents.

The matter came to light when the survivor confided in her sister and the survivor’s statement led to the arrest of 17 men between the ages of 23 and 66 in July 2018.