Kozhikode: The Additional Sessions Court, Thalassery, is likely to pronounce the verdict in the 'Kottiyur rape case' on February 16. Fr Robin Vadakkumchery, former vicar of St Sebastian's Church, Kottiyur, has been accused of raping a minor girl who gave birth to a baby in Kannur on February 7 last year. He was arrested on February 27 when he was trying to escape to Canada.
The priest had first tried to implicate the girl's father as the accused. On March 31, a DNA test proved that Fr Robin is the biological father of the child.
The incident came to light after Childline officials of Kannur received an anonymous letter.
Father Robin was posted at the Mananthavady Catholic diocese's church at Kottiyur in Kannur three years ago.
He also worked as the manager of a school attached to the church. The 17-year-old girl was a Plus-One student at the school.
The girl and her parents had turned hostile during the trial. The other accused in the case were Thankamma Nelliyani, who allegedly helped Fr Robin to cover up the issue, Dr Liss Mariya, Sr Aneetta, Sr Ophelia, Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam, former chairman of Wayanad Child Welfare Committee, and Dr Betty Jose.
The others allegedly assisted Fr Robin to shift the baby and the mother soon after the delivery to an orphanage at Vythiri in Wayanad violating rules and regulations. The Supreme Court had exempted the accused three to five from the case.
Legal circles believe that the shift in stance of the victims and parents will not affect the case. In a recent verdict, the Supreme Court had affirmed the conviction of an accused in a rape case even after the victim turned hostile. It had also suggested prosecuting the victims for turning hostile in such cases.
The court held that if there is sufficient evidence to fix the guilt, the accused can be convicted. "Neither the accused nor the victim can be permitted to subvert a criminal trial by stating falsehood and resort to contrivances, so as to make it the theatre of the absurd," the SC bench said....