High Court exempts Cardinal Alencherry from appearing in court till July 20

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday exempted Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church, from appearing in person before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Kakkanad, till July 20 in a case relating to the sale of land of the Church.

Justice Ziyad Rahman A.A. passed the interim order on a petition by the Major Archbishop. The allegation was that the petitioner and the other accused had sold property belonging to the Archdiocese at a price lower than the one fixed by the authorities and thereby misappropriated the amount received from the sale of property.

The petitioner said when the magistrate court took cognizance of the offences alleged against the petitioner and others under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust,) 423,(dishonest or fraudulent execution of the deed of transfer con­taining false statement of consideration), and 120(b)(criminal conspiracy) read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), summons were issued to all the accused. In fact, the petitioners and others had then appeared through their counsel. The magistrate court had recently directed the petitioner to appear on July 1 and take bail in the case. Though he had filed a petition seeking to exempt him from personal appearance and allow to appear through his counsel, the court dismissed the plea.

He said he did not have any objection to recording evidence in his absence, and that his plea could be recorded through his counsel. The allegations were based on documents. Besides, the identification of the petitioner was not necessary with respect to evidence in the case. He sought to set aside the Magistrate Court’s order. 

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 1:07:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/high-court-exempts-cardinal-alencherry-from-appearing-in-court-till-july-20/article65579630.ece