NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the State Police to file a status report on the investigation into the alleged Kerala church sex scandal involving four priests in two weeks time.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan wanted to examine the status of probe before deciding whether the two priests, Father Soni Abraham Varghese and Father Jaise K George, deserves protection from arrest or not.
The court had reserved its order in the case last week. As an interim measure, the top court has asked the police not to arrest the duo till its final order and slated the further hearing for August 6. During the hearing, bench wondered over the sudden rise in number of rape cases involving church priests.
The observation was made by the bench as it heard two cases simultaneously involving church priests. The first case which the court was hearing was pertaining to the involvement of Father Thomas Joseph Therakam, who has moved the court for quashing of charges against him in a rape case.
Joseph has to face trial for allegedly trying to help Kottiyoor priest, Robin Vadakkumchery in hushing up a rape case against the latter, in which a minor girl was raped who subsequently gave birth to a baby. Apart from Joseph, who was removed as the Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman last year, five nuns and two doctors were also accused in the case. Father Joseph had requested for stay on the trial, but the bench refused the same and fixed the hearing for August 1.
The second case was of four clergymen attached to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala involved in a rape case involving a 34-year old married woman, two priests have moved the Supreme Court seeking anticipatory bail.