The Kerala police have registered a criminal case against Father James Erthayil, the priest whose leaked audio conversation exposed his attempt to bribe and threaten a nun to withdraw a rape case against a bishop.
"A criminal case has been registered against the priest at the Kanjirapally police station on Monday evening. He has been booked under IPC sections 214 (Offering gift or restoration of property in consideration of screening offender), 506 (Criminal Intimidation) and 120 (O) of the Kerala Police Act (causing nuisance to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger)," Vaikom DYSP Subhash confirmed to TNM.
Investigations will commence on Tuesday and following this, a case will be registered against the priest, the DYSP added.
The leaked audio clip was a conversation between Father James Erthayil, part of the Kanjirappally diocese of the CMI and Sister Anupama from the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam.
Sister Anupama was one of the five nuns, who came out in support to the 44-year-old nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco Mullakkal of the Jalandhar diocese.
In the 11-minute audio clip first broadcast by Asianet, also with TNM, Father James attempts to bribe and lure Sister Anupama from withdrawing support to the survivor in return for a convent that would be built exclusively for the six nuns, including the survivor.
The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), to which Fr. James belongs to, has termed the incident as 'unfortunate' and hastily added that the Church has nothing to do with the alleged offers made by the priest to the nun.
This despite the fact that in the audio, the priest can be heard saying that his bishop in Kanjirappallly will provide land for the convent.
The CMI has asked the priest to step down from his current post and has transferred to Idukki. This seems to be the maximum punishment that the church has doled out to the priest.