KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed it is the responsibility of Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, to clear the cloud of suspicion over the controversial land deal.
The court said it is evident all such transactions are shady. “A cloud has been cast upon all the transactions. It is for George Alencherry, Fr Joshy Puthuva, Pro-Vicar, St John’s Church; Fr Sebastian Vadakkumapadam, Pro-Vicar General, Archbishop’s House, and Saju Varghese, of Kochi, against whom allegations are raised, to remove these clouds of suspicion,” the order stated. It said the court is not going deep into the matter.
The present stage is not conducive to go into the details of the illegalities. The court observed the Cardinal was just a representative of the dioceses in juridical affairs and was expected to safeguard its interests.
The court dismissed the contention of the Cardinal he was not given an opportunity to argue the matter.
Meanwhile, the court held it was not the end of the road for the respondents, including Alencherry. Even if a crime is registered, they can challenge the FIR.
The court flayed the police for not recording the complaint seeking probe into the controversy. The court said it cannot accept the contention that the issue in question was a civil matter. If facts are clear, the police officer can’t turn a deaf ear and he is duty-bound to register a case when it was mandated by the Supreme Court in the Lalithakumari case. The non-compliance of the mandate will necessarily invite contempt of court.