Indore: The Judicial Magistrate First Class of the District Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh has directed the police to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Bishop Thomas Thennatt of Gwalior by car accident four months ago.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class Nidhi Nilessh Shrivastava passed the order following a parishioner – Dolly Theresa’s – petition to the court stating that she suspected foul play in the Bishop’s death.
In her petition in Court, Theresa claimed that three priests had travelled with the Bishop in the car that met with an accident but they escaped unhurt and the car too did not have any damage.”
She strongly suspects the role of priests of the diocese behind the Bishop’s death. The court has found merit in her argument and directed Pohari police to look into her complaint and submit a report.
Bishop Thennatt was returning to his residence in Gwalior after attending the annual function of a Church-run school in Sheopur district. The accident occurred at Pohari.
The senior clergyman was immediately taken to the nearest hospital and then, to St. Joseph Hospital, Gwalior, where he was declared dead around 10 pm on Dec. 14.
His body was buried on December 18, 2018, at St. Paul’s Church Morar, Gwalior.
Theresa further said the police’s failure to register a case and conduct postmortem has increased her suspicion that there was a conspiracy behind the Bishop’s death.
The petitioner had earlier approached the Judicial Magistrate First Class Pohri, district Shivpuri on January 24 seeking direction to the police for a probe into the circumstances that led to the suspicious death of bishop. The JMFC in its order on February 4 dismissed the case on the ground of lack of sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges, despite photographs and other materials on record.
She subsequently, filed a criminal revision petition before the first upper Session Judge Shivpuri on February 14 challenging the order of the JMFC.
“The special judge, after hearing the arguments and perusing the materials on record, quashed the order of the JMFC and directed it (JMFC) to proceed with the matter as per the law allowing the revision petition.
Bishop Thomas Thennatt was the first member of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, popularly known as Pallotines, to become a bishop in India.