India apex court declines bail to Kerala priests in abuse case

The two priests have been directed to immediately surrender before the lower court

Thiruvananthapuram: The Supreme Court of India on Monday turned down the anticipatory bail applications of two priests from Kerala, who are accused in an abuse case, allegedly after blackmailing the victim through information gleaned from her confessional.


Four priests of the Orthodox Church in Kerala are accused of having abused the married woman multiple times by blackmailing her with the information they had.

On Monday, the apex court turned down the anticipatory bail applications of two priests, Abraham Varghese and Jais K. George, who are first and fourth accused respectively, in the case. The two priests have been directed to immediately surrender before the lower court.

Two other priests who had earlier been arrested in the case, Job Mathew and Johnson V. Mathew, have been granted bail.

Meanwhile, the victim in another abuse case, related to the Catholic Church, is continuing to press for the arrest of Franco Mulakkal, the bishop of Jalandhar in Punjab state. The victim, a nun, has alleged that Mulakkal abused her as many as 13 times at her convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district.

The case was given another twist when a priest, James Aerthayil offered a bribe to the nun to withdraw the case against the bishop. The priest said the church was planning to set up a new convent and that the nun could have her own convent within a 10-acre property if she decided not to press charges against the bishop.

The nun recorded the telephonic conversation by the priest and a case has been registered against him.

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