Seven people were questioned in Punjab’s Jalandhar city in connection with the Kerala church sex scandal case.
Kottayam’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), K. Subhash said, “More people will be questioned regarding the case. We will also go to Amritsar for investigation purposes while Bishop Franco Mulakkal will not be questioned today.”
On August 6, the Supreme Court had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of two priests–Jaise K. George and Father Sony Varghese– in connection with the same. The Apex Court division bench, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprised of Justice Ashok Bhushan, asked both the accused priests to surrender before the police by August 13.
The court had noted that the petitions of the two accused priests are devoid of merits. “The petition of accused persons is devoid of merits and, thereby, we dismiss their prayers,” the two-judge bench of the top court had observed.
The top court had also asked both the accused priests George and Varghese, to surrender their mobile phones to the police to ensure that the investigation would be carried out properly.
On July 26, the court had asked the Kerala Government to furnish a status report on the same day in the case. The two priests, along with others, are accused in the Kerala Church sex scandal case. The key accused, Varghese, along with his associate George, had earlier knocked the doors of the court seeking anticipatory bail in the case.
A case was registered in June against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Church for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in Kottayam. The accused allegedly threatened to disclose the victim’s confessions, made in church.
The incident came to light when the victim’s husband recovered an audio clip related to the case, following which investigation was initiated by the church.
The Malankara Orthodox Church had suspended all the priests after the complaint was filed. One out of the four priests of accused in the case surrendered on July 12.