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Decide on appeal in Jindal university rape case, Supreme Court tells HC

The top court says the main convicts in the Jindal university rape case, who were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a trial court in May 2016, will continue to be in jail till their appeal is decided by the high court.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Jindal university rape case,Supreme Court,Rape case
A Jindal University student in 2015 lodged a complaint alleging that three men, final year law students of the university, had been blackmailing and raping her since August, 2013. (File photo)

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court to decide on the appeals filed by the three accused in the Jindal University gang-rape case within the next five months, even as it clarified that two of the three accused would continue to stay in jail.

Ruling on a petition filed by the victim, a bench of justice SA Bobde and justice L Nageshwar Rao said Hardik Sikri and Karan Chabra, the main convicts in the case who were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a trial court in May 2016, will continue to be in jail till their appeal is decided by the high court.

However, the third convict Vikas Garg, who was handed a 7 year jail term, will continue to be out on bail.

The victim, a junior management student at OP Jindal Global university at the time of incident, approached the Supreme Court challenging the Punjab & Haryana High Court order that didn’t just grant bail to the three convicts, but also suspended their sentences.

On appeal by the trio, the high court in September last year suspended their sentence on the grounds that the woman was “promiscuous” and had “casual sexual escapades” and directed Sikri and Chhabra to be released on bail. Garg was already out on bail.

Following the victim’s petition, the Supreme Court cancelled the high court order and directed the two convicts back to jail.

During the course of hearing in the apex court, the victim also expressed the fear and possibility of blackmail by the convicts as they still had her photographs on their iCloud.

Last week, the court ordered the students to share the iCloud password of their laptops with the victim so that her pictures were not circulated over the internet. Justice Bobde had remarked, “we find it difficult to accept and tolerate the continuing blackmail of the victim. “

On Thursday, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan informed the court that Karan Sikri did not remember the password as he has been in jail for more than 2 years and not accessed his iCloud account in this time.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 22:07 IST