HC admits Kerala govt’s appeal against acquittal of accused in Vandiperiyar rape-murder case

The Kerala High Court on Thursday admitted an appeal filed by the state government challenging the acquittal of the accused in the Vandiperiyar child rape and murder case.

A division bench of Justices P B Suresh Kumar and Johnson John ordered issuance of notice to the accused Arjun (24) and posted the matter for further hearing on January 29.

In its appeal, the state government contended that the Fast Track Special Court at Kattappana in Idukki district had failed to appreciate the evidence produced by the prosecution.

A POCSO special court had on December 14 acquitted Arjun (24), in the case, saying the “prosecution failed to establish all the circumstances which are consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence.”

The special court had severely criticised the investigating officer for adopting a “lethargic attitude” throughout the probe.

The six-year-old girl was found hanging inside her house on June 30, 2021 when her parents were away at work in a nearby plantation.

Police had initially registered a case of unnatural death, but the autopsy report confirmed that the child was raped before being hanged.

It seems like he had raped her many times in the past. However, on June 30, the child fell unconscious during his rape attempt and thinking that she was dead, he hanged her, police had said.

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