Kerala church scandal: SC to hear tomorrow anticipatory bail plea of priest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear tomorrow the anticipatory bail plea of Father Soni Abraham Varghese in connection with the sex scandal case involving four clergymen attached to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud agreed to hear the plea of the priest after he sought urgent hearing as he fears arrest in the case.

The crime branch had on July 2 registered a case against Father Varghese and three other priests on the basis of statements given by a woman belonging to the same Church accusing them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.

The high court had earlier dismissed his plea and ordered him to surrender forthwith.

The woman has alleged that all the four priests had misused her confessions to sexually exploit her.

The probe agency has already arrested two of the accused.

Bar Council of India has become ineffective: SC

Bar Council of India has been questioned by the Supreme Court or not taking action against erring lawyers, saying it has become “ineffective” and courts become victims because of such legal practitioners.

“Bar Council has become ineffective. No action is taken against erring lawyers and we have to suffer. We are actually the victim and lawyers are making money,” according to the bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra.

The bench made the remarks while refusing to hear anticipatory bail plea of a Mumbai-based businessman, who moved the apex court even after his lawyer had earlier withdrawn the petition.

The bench said that the petitioner can approach the Bar Council or Police and lodge complaint against the lawyer who had withdrawn the petition.

“Lawyers think that they are above law. We are facing such situation every day,” the bench mentioned.

“It is just anticipatory bail plea. Let him first surrender. Let the lawyer first appear before us,” according the bench.

Bar Council of India is the regulating body for practising advocates and frames rules on their professional standards and legal education in the country.

Kerala legislator gets bail in murder case

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator T.V. Rajesh was Tuesday granted bail by the Kerala High Court in the murder of Indian Union Muslim League worker Abdul Shukoor in February.

Rajesh was lodged in jail after his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed and he surrendered before a court in his home town Kannur Aug 13.

The next day, he moved a bail application in a court in Kannur which was also rejected. He then moved the high court here for bail.

Rajesh’s counsel told the high court that the legislator be granted bail to serve his electorate. The prosecution did not oppose the bail application.

More than two dozen workers belonging to the CPI-M and its affiliates have been arrested in the murder of Shukoor, 21, near Kannur.

Shukoor was allegedly murdered in retaliation to an attack by suspected Muslim League workers on CPI-M leader and Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan, who is in judicial custody till Aug 27, and Rajesh.

The Muslim League is the second biggest constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front.