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4 absconding accused in rape case directed to appear before IO

Press Trust of India 

The High today directed four absconding accused, including a Catholic priest and two nuns, to surrender before the police officer investigating the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a vicar of a church in Kottiyoor in Kannur district.

Fr Robin alias Mathew Vadakkancheril, who was vicar of the local church at Kottiyoor and the prime accused in the case, was arrested on February 28.

Considering an anticipatory bail plea filed by the absconding accused, Justice B Sudheendra Kumar directed them to surrender before the Investigating Officer in five days.

They had been booked for their alleged role in hiding facts related to the case relating to the rape and subsequent delivery of the baby by the 11th standard student on February 7.

The directed the Investigating Officer to produce the accused before the Special dealing with the case after interrogation on the same day of their surrender.

The High also ordered the Special to grant conditional bail to the accused, namely Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam, sisters Ophelia and Betty Jose and Thankamma, the maid servant attached to the local church, considering their age as well as the fact that most of the offences charged against them are bailable.

Father Therakam was chairman of the Wyanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC). He was later removed from the post.

The High pointed out that the accused had no criminal antecedents.

The court, after examining case diary, observed that prima facie there are no allegations to constitute some of the offences made out against the accused.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 14 2017. 20:23 IST