Scandal
Two of the accused priests have filed for anticipatory bail, which will be heard by the Kerala High Court on Monday.
  • Monday, July 09, 2018 - 07:42
Image for representation

The Kerala Police is waiting for the outcome of the anticipatory bail plea filed in the Kerala High Court by two of the four Orthodox priests, accused of sexually abusing a woman parishioner, before proceeding in the case, officials said.

If the court, which will hear the matter on Monday, turns down the plea, the accused priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church will be arrested, said informed sources.

All four accused are now on the run, but the sources say that police have tracked them down and is waiting for the court verdict, which will come out on Monday, to take further steps.

Police have come under further pressure with the National Commission for Women (NCW) monitoring the case. 

NCW member Rekha Sharma met the victim at her house in the presence of her close relatives and enquired from her about the case. 

Addressing the media later, she said that it was most unfortunate that these priests have misused their authority. 

"It's to be noted that one of the accused passed on the information to the other accused about the victim. I will be calling them as hooligans, as they have misused their position. We will ask the head of the Church why these things are happening," she said.

Even the court, when it first heard the bail petition last week, refused any relief to the accused, who had sought a direction that police not arrest them till the bail petition is disposed.

It was alleged that five priests sexually abused a woman for a decade but police charged four of them under sections of rape and similar charges, citing the woman's complaint in which only four names were mentioned.

The police action came after the victim's husband complained that one of the priests who first exploited his wife was blackmailing her. When she sought help from another priest, he too threatened her and shared her contact with a fellow priest and in the end, she came under the duress from at least five priests.