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Kerala Church sex scandal: SC asks two priests to surrender by Aug 13, refuses pre-arrest bail

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today refused to grant anticipatory to two priests, accused of sexually abusing a married woman in the sex scandal, and asked them to surrender before police by August 13.

A bench of Justices A K and said the two priests were at liberty to seek regular once they have surrendered.

The Crime Branch of the Police had on July 2 registered a case against four priests on the basis of a statement given by a woman belonging to the same who has accused them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.

The four priests attached to the Malankara were accused of sexually abusing the 34-year-old married woman by allegedly using her confessional statement.

While two of them surrendered, two others -- Father Verghese and Father Jaise K George -- had approached the apex court for anticipatory after their plea was rejected by the High Court on July 11.

During today's hearing, V Giri, appearing for submitted a status report of investigation and said no interrogation has taken place so far of the two priests who were earlier granted protection from arrest by the apex court.

The bench said, "We have granted protection from arrest to them but it does not mean that they can't be interrogated."

R Basant, appearing for the two priests, said the accused are willing to cooperate in the investigation and record their statements.

for the victim also filed an interlocutory application in the case and informed the court that the accused had allegedly uploaded a video on the internet to blackmail the woman.

He said that this video contained some disparaging remarks against the victim and was uploaded on the internet even when the investigation in the case was underway.

Giri said these allegations are something new, which he did not have any knowledge. "If true, this is a very grave and serious issue," he said.

Basant said that he would ensure that these things do not happen again.

Giri replied that there is no question of doing it again and the damage has already been done.

The bench then asked the for victim to raise these issues before the trial court and said that "it is not a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail"

On July 19, the two priests were granted protection from arrest by the apex court till it pronounced a verdict on their pleas.

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

First Published: Mon, August 06 2018. 17:30 IST