Two former students of OP Jindal Global University, who are the main accused in a blackmailing and gangrape case, will remain in jail until the Punjab and Haryana High Court decides on their appeals in five months, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, according to ANI.
A Sonepat court had convicted the students in May 2017 for gangraping and blackmailing a fellow female student for over a year.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by the woman after the High Court in September 2017 let off the three convicts. The top court had already stayed the High Court’s order in November 2017.
The case dates back to 2015 when a student of OP Jindal Global University in Sonepat had alleged that her friend Hardik Sikri had blackmailed her using photos of her. The woman had alleged that Sikri forced her to have sex with him and his two friends, Vikas Garg and Karan Chhabra.
While Sikri and Chhabra had got 20-year sentences, Garg was sent to jail for a term of seven years.
However, four months after the Sonepat court’s conviction, in September 2017, a division bench of the High Court granted the convicts bail on the grounds that the woman’s statement stemmed from a “promiscuous attitude and a voyeuristic mind”. The Supreme Court then stayed the controversial order after advocate Prashant Mendiratta filed a Special Leave Petition.
On February 7, the Supreme Court asked them to share the password of an iCloud account where they allegedly saved the woman’s pictures. The court said it was “difficult to accept and tolerate a continuing blackmail”.
The court also said it was only concerned with the woman’s safety, and the High Court would decide on the guilt of the accused.