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The Orissa High Court Thursday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to arrest, within three months, the absconding accused in a more than 11-year-old rape case, a lawyer said.

A division bench of Justice A.S.Naidu and Justice S.C Parija sought the arrest of Biban Biswal, while dismissing the appeal filed by two other convicts – Padia Sahu and Tunia Mohanty – defence lawyer A.K.Budhia told IANS.

The estranged wife of an Indian Forest Service officer was gang raped by three people on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar Jan 9, 1999, when she was on her way to Cuttack with a friend.

Padia and Mohanty were sentenced to life imprisonment by the district and session judge in April 2002. They had appealed against the sentence in the high court July 2002.

Upholding their sentence, the court also asked the CBI to submit an action taken report in the case within three months, he said.

The gang rape of the woman, a mother of two children, was a major political issue that had embarrassed the then Congress government in the state.

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