Kerala

Supreme Court seeks records in Kerala Church sex scandal case

A view of Supreme Court building, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

The Supreme Court on Thursday called for records of the investigation carried out by the Crime Branch in the case of alleged rape and molestation charges against four priests in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church rape case. A Bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan granted protection from arrest to two of the accused — Father Jaise K. George and Father Sony Varghese — till August 6, the next date of hearing.

Both the accused had approached the top court after their anticipatory bail pleas were turned down by the Kerala High Court.

During the brief hearing, the Kerala government, represented by advocate Vipin Nair, opposed the anticipatory bail plea.

Earlier on Monday, the Kerala High Court granted bail to Johnson V. Mathew, a priest of a church arrested for allegedly abusing a married woman in Pathanamthitta district. Johnson Mathew, a counsellor of the church, was arrested from Kozhencherry in the district on July 13. The High Court has directed him to surrender his passport, cooperate in the investigation and not to enter the limits of the police station where the victim resides. On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court also granted bail to another accused Job Mathew.

The incident came to light after an audio clip of the purported conversation of the husband of the victim with a church official about the alleged sexual abuse of his wife by the priests was circulated on social media.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 4:52:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sc-seeks-records-in-church-case/article24525950.ece

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