New Delhi, July 19: The Supreme Court today said it would hear anticipatory bail plea filed by prime accused priest Abraham Varghese, who is facing charges of sexual abuse of a parishioner, on-camera.
Lawyers and others associated with the case to be allowed inside Courtroom. ANI reported.
Malankara Orthodox Church case: SC says it would hear anticipatory bail plea filed by prime accused priest Abraham Varghese on-camera. Lawyers & others associated with the case to be allowed inside Courtroom. Varghese had earlier moved the Court seeking anticipatory bail. #Kerala
— ANI (@ANI) July 19, 2018
A Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan will hear the matter.
Earlier in a day, the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Thiruvalla has rejected the bail plea of Fr Job Mathew and Fr Johnson V Mathew, who are co-accused in the case. They will approach the High Court with their bail plea.
Father Sony (Abraham) Varghese on Saturday filed his petition in the apex court seeking anticipatory bail plea in the case.
The priests have been accused of offences punishable under Sections 376, 354, 354A, 506(i) of the Indian Penal Code.
Last week, the Kerala High Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of three of the four Malankara Orthodox Church priests who have been accused of raping and molesting a woman parishioner.
As the bail plea was strongly opposed by the prosecution, the counsels of the three priests told the court that their clients were willing to surrender.
But the court pointed out that there was enough evidence against Father Sony Varghese, Father Job Mathew and Father Jaice K. George and declined them bail.
A woman who regularly visited the Malankara Orthodox Church had accused five priests of sexually abusing her for a decade.
The case pertains to the blackmail and sexual abuse of a woman by priests after she confessed to a priest about her relationship with another priest.
The priests of the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church were also suspended following the allegations.
According to the Victim’s husband, one of the priest who first exploited his wife was blackmailing her. When she sought help on this from another priest, he too, threatened her and shared her contact with another fellow priest and in the end she came under the duress from at least five priests.