Supreme Court has reserved the verdict in the anticipatory bail plea of the first and fourth accused in the case where four priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church were accused of blackmailing and raping a woman in Kerala.
The court, which heard the pleas in-camera but videotaped the proceedings, had extended protection to first accused Father Abraham Varghese, alias Sony, and fourth accused Father Jaise K. George till the court ruled on their bail pleas.
Earlier in the day, the Magistrate Court at Thiruvalla rejected the bail pleas of two priests who are already in custody. The court declined to grant the two arrested priests any reprieve in the sensational case that exposed the abuse of a woman over several years, including by the priest to whom she had made a confession, which he used to blackmail her.
Father Job Mathew and Father Johnson V. Mathew, were further remanded to judicial custody. Both are currently lodged in the Pathanamthitta district jail. Their advocates are planning to move the High Court for relief.
The crime branch has submitted in the court against granting the duo any reprieve and has requested they be allowed to arrest the priests for interrogation. On Thursday Father Abraham Varghese posted a video on the internet mounting insults on the victim.