For nearly 8 years, she was gang-raped by 42 men in 40 days. But she is still waiting for the Supreme Court to deliver justice.
Now, the Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir has promised that the hearings in the Suryanelli gangrape case, will begin within three weeks. The decision comes after his statement that fast-track trials are essential in rape cases. His comments were made at the inauguration of a special court which will hold daily hearings in the case of the Delhi gang rape victim.
The 16-year-old was abducted by a bus conductor who raped her, passed her onto others, some of whom were powerful and influential in Kerala at that time. She was then discarded penniless and too feeble to return home - she couldn't sit or stand due to her injuries. It was her case that had led to the commissioning of Kerala's first special court for handling sexual assault cases. Though 35 people accused of raping her were convicted, but the Kerala High Court reversed the decision later, holding only one person guilty. The grounds for this acquittal were criticised by many people. Her family and the state prosecutor had appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict but nothing happened thereafter.
The family survives on her parents' pensions. The victim had been given a job as a peon in a government department but in February, she was arrested and suspended for financial misappropriation.