The Madras High Court Friday quashed the detention of 16 accused in a case relating to the gang rape of an 11-year-old hearing impaired girl in Ayanavaram here last year, under the Goondas Act. A division bench of Justices C T Selvam and R Hemalatha passed the order as police failed to pass the detention order within 30 days of arrest. The matter relates to the rape of a minor girl by a group of 17 people working at an apartment complex in Ayanavaram locality here, like plumbers, housekeepers, security guards and lift operators.
The girl was allegedly sexually assaulted several times by the accused over seven months. All 17 were first arrested and then detained under the Goondas Act. The Goondas Advisory Board also confirmed the detention of 17 people under the Act. Assailing the detention, 16 accused approached the high court. Claiming that the allegations against them were false, the petitioners said it was "very strange" that the minor girl was still alive despite the claim of her having been "raped" on multiple occasions.
Noting that they had no bad antecedents, the petitioners alleged that all of them have lost their jobs and were forced to vacate their house by the landlords. The case came to light after the victim, a class 7 student, narrated her ordeal to her elder sister. The sister informed their parents about it following which the girl's father lodged a police complaint on July 15 last year. The arrested persons were attacked by some lawyers in the court when they were produced on July 17.
(With inputs from agencies.)