No restraint on arrest of priests

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to pass an interim directive not to arrest Fr Sony Varghese and Fr Job Mathew of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in connection with a rape case registered against them.

Counsel for the priests sought the interim directive when an anticipatory bail petition filed by them came up for hearing.

The court, while adjourning the hearing on the petition to July 9, also asked the prosecution to respond to the plea of the priests.

Opposing the prayer for an interim directive, the prosecutor argued that that allegation levelled against the priests were serious.

An FIR had been registered against them on the basis of a statement of the woman.

The prosecution submitted that the investigation in the case was in “an embryonic stage”. Therefore, it could not give an undertaking that the petitioners would not be arrested.

Fr Sony Varghese, Fr Job Mathew, Fr Johnson V. Mathew, and Fr Jaise K. George are listed as accused in the FIR registered by the Crime Branch.

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