Kerala sexual assault case: SC directs two priests to surrender

By PTI Published on Aug 06, 2018 03:48 PM IST

File photo of Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court hasĀ cancelled the interim protection from arrest, given to two clergymen accused of sexually abusing a married woman, and asked them to surrender by 13 August.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the two priests were at liberty to seek regular bail once they surrender.

The counsel for the victim alleged that some videos were uploaded by the accused on the Internet and they used it to blackmail her. The court had earlier asked the State police to file a status report on the probe done so far into the sexual abuse case, involving four priests attached to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.

On 19 July, the two priests -- Father Sony Verghese and Father Jaise K George -- were granted protection from arrest by the apex court till it pronounced a verdict on their anticipatory bail pleas.

The clergymen had moved the Supreme Court, seeking anticipatory bail in the case after their plea was rejected by the Kerala High Court 11 July.

Four priests attached to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church were accused of sexually abusing a 34-year-old married woman by using her confessional statement.

The court was earlier informed that two of the accused had surrendered, while two were before the court seeking anticipatory bail in the case.

The crime branch of the Kerala police had 2 July registered a case against Father Verghese and three other priests on the basis of a statement given by the woman belonging to the same church who accused them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.