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Supreme Court expresses shock at rape and sexual assault cases emerging from Churches in Kerala

The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday expressed shock at the rape and sexual assault cases which are emerging from churches in Kerala, New Indian Express has reported.

According to the report, the SC made these comments while hearing a minor’s rape case where the accused is a christian priest named Father Robin Vadakumcherry. The rape took place in Kerala’s Kotiyoor in 2016 and the victim subsequently gave birth to a child in 2017. The child was then handed over to a foundling home. A case was subsequently filed against the christian priest by the Kerala police and he is currently in custody.

Thus the Supreme Court bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan remarked that such rape cases coming out of the Kerala church were shocking and disturbing.

As reported by us recently, in another such matter from Kerala, a case of rape has been registered against three Christian priests who have been accused of abusing and blackmailing a married woman for a whopping 380 times.

Under the minor’s rape case, prosecutors have alleged that doctors too were involved in the matter as they were aware about Father Robin’s crime, and after the child was born – wanted to cover it up.

The lawyer appearing on behalf of the two doctors and a hospital administrator sought that they not be tried under the POCSO act, as according to him it might create a wrong precedence and, other medical professionals may shy away from disseminating timely medical assistance.

According to a report published in The Hindu, the accused doctors and hospital administrators namely Gynaecologist Sister Tessy Jose, paediatrician Hyder Ali and Sister Ancy Mathew, were discharged by the Supreme Court bench. The medical professionals are reported to have helped the victim give birth.

The court though has refused to quash charges against the Child Welfare Committee’s chairman – Father Thomas Therakan and committee member – Sister Betty Jose, who were aware that the baby was kept in the foundling home and did nothing to surrender the child under the juvenile justice act.

Incidentally more shocking details are emerging about the case that the victim has claimed in the Thalassery Additional district sessions court that she and the father had consensual sex and that she wants to have a family life with him, Indiatimes has reported.

As per the report she has also claimed that she was an adult when she got into a relationship with the christian priest. This though has been contradicted by her birth certificate and school records which show that she was indeed a minor.

As a result of the dramatic U-turn by the victim, she has been declared a hostile witness by the court.

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