The two accused priests, Father Sony Varghese and Father Jaise K George, have been directed by the apex court to surrender by August 13 and then apply for regular bail.

Kerala sex for silence case SC dismisses anticipatory bail of 2 accused priestsRepresentative image
news Sexual harassment Monday, August 06, 2018 - 13:50

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of two priests of Malankara Orthodox Church, who have been accused of blackmailing and sexually assaulting a married woman in Kerala.

Father Sony Varghese, the main accused in the case, and Father Jaise K George have been directed by the apex court to surrender by August 13 and then apply for regular bail. The priests have been asked to cooperate with the probe and surrender their mobile phones as well.

While hearing their plea, the apex court observed that this was not a fit case for anticipatory bail.

Four priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church have been accused of blackmailing and sexually abusing a married woman for a decade. The woman’s husband, who learned about the crime in February this year, filed a complaint against the priests. The Crime Branch is investigating the case.

In the complaint, Father Abraham Varghese has been accused of sexually abusing the woman since she was 16.

The woman, in her statement to the Crime Branch, had said that she was in a relationship with him in 1999. At that time, she was 16 years old. He went on to become a priest but forced her to continue the relationship, even though they were married to separate individuals.

The two accused priests, booked for rape and molestation by the Crime Branch, had filed a plea seeking anticipatory bail in the Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, the top court had ordered a stay on the arrest of two accused priests and had asked the Kerala government to furnish a status report in the case. Father Johnson Mathew, who is the third accused in the case, and the second accused, Father Job Mathew, are out on bail.

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