The Madras High Court on Friday revoked the Goondas Act that was slapped on 16 accused, who were involved in the heinous rape and torture of a speech and hearing impaired girl in July 2018.
The bench among the lapses cited the failure of the police to detain them under Goondas Act within the stipulated 30 days as their detention had transpired only after 40 days.
The accused in the case had submitted that no substantial materials were placed before the detaining authority before passing the order and the grounds of detention under the Goondas Act were not furnished to them on time.
A total of 17 men were charged under the sections 376 (punishment for rape), 307 (attempt to murder), 372 (selling minor for purposes of prostitution) of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The more than 300-page charge sheet was filed on September 16. The minor girl was repeatedly raped by 17 men at her apartment complex for six months. The case was reported in July, 2018. On September 6, the city police Commissioner AK Viswanathan passed orders to detain all the accused under the Goondas Act. The 11-year-old victim lived in a gated community in Ayanavaram in the city. The accused, working as electricians, plumbers and lift operators, used the desolated places in the gated community and sexually assaulted the girl for nearly six months after injecting sedatives and threatening her to silence.
The incident came to light on July 15 when her elder sister asked her about the injury marks on her body, following which a complaint was lodged with the All-Women Police station leading to the arrest of all the accused.