Five of the 17 accused in the gang-rape of a 11-year-old girl in Chennai have moved the Madras High Court against a case filed on them under the Goondas Act, as per a report by Suresh Kumar in the Times of India.
According to reports, the counsel for the petitioners submitted to the court that the order issued on September 5 by a mahila court, against the 17 men was illegal, arbitrary and against the fundamental rights of the accused. The counsel also said that the mahila court had rejected their bail application on September 16 due to the Goondas Act slapped on them and submitted that this was contrary to law, weight of evidence and against the principles of natural justice.
A bench consisting of justice CT Selvam and justice M Nirmal Kumar admitted the plea of the accused and ordered the Commissioner of Police and the inspector of the All Women Police Station, Aynavaram to respond in three weeks.
Under the Goondas Act, the accused can be detained for one year. To seek relief from the detention, the accused can approach the Goondas Advisory Board which would hear the case and pass the order in 45 days or the accused can approach the High Court with a habeas corpus petition which would take four to six months.
The 17 accused were arrested on July 15 for allegedly raping a minor girl with hearing issues within an apartment complex in Aynavaram. The incident came to light when the girl confided to her elder sister about her ordeal and the sister filed a police complaint. The accused were then produced in a mahila court on July 17 and remanded to judicial custody.
Of the 17 men in jail, 14 have also moved the Madras High Court seeking a transfer of their case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). They told the court that they had lost trust in the state police and that they were not sure they would get a fair probe, free from biases of the police.