A court in Thalassery reportedly refused to entertain the plea by three of the accused to quash charges against them.

Kottiyoor rape Kerala court to begin trial in Catholic priest raping minor case
news Crime Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 18:41

More than a year since a Catholic priest allegedly raped and impregnated a minor girl in Kottiyoor in Kannur district, the trial proceedings in the case is set to begin.

The police had, in February last year, arrested and booked ten people including the priest Father Robin Vadakkumchery.

According to a report published by Mathrubhumi News, a court in Thalassery refused to entertain the plea filed by three of the accused seeking to drop the charges against them.

With this, the Additional Sessions Court in Thalassery ordered for the chargesheet to be read out to all the accused.

Although the third, fourth and fifth accused in the case, Sr Dr. Tesi Thomas, Dr Hyderali, and Sister Ancy Mathew, had previously approached the Supreme Court with a plea to quash charges against them, the apex court had refused to do so.

The apex court had also dismissed their plea to put a stay on the trial.

The case

The case rocked the conscience of the people of Kerala, with the accused being a Catholic priest. The case grew more complicated after several others from the church were subsequently arrested for allegedly trying to protect Father Vadakkumchery.

Robin Vadakkumchery, who was at the time of his arrest working at the Mananthavady Catholic Dioceseā€™s Church at Kottiyoor, was nabbed on February 28 while he was trying to escape to Canada. This, nearly three weeks after the 16-year-old girl delivered a baby. While the priest, along with the members of the church tried to hide the case, it soon came to light.

After the minor girl gave birth to the baby, the child was reportedly sent to an adoption centre run by nuns, who are also facing criminal charges in the case.

Former Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman Fr. Joseph Therakam, Sr. Ophilia, the Superintendent of Holy infant Mary orphanage at Wayanad, where the infant of the survivor was taken to immediately after the delivery, and another nun Sr. Betty of CWC had surrendered last week.

The second accused Thankamma Nelliyani, who aided the survivor during her pregnancy and childbirth, was also arrested by the police.

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