New Delhi/kerala: The Supreme Court on Wednesday orally observed that some priests in Kerala being involved in rape cases is shocking. It is disturbing that cases of rape and sexual assault have come from churches in Kerala recently, the court said.
A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan made these observations during the hearing of a case involving the rape of a minor in a church by Father Rabin in Kotiyoor in Malabar district of Kerala in 2016. The minor girl gave birth to child in 2017 and immediately the baby was handed over to a foundling home.
The Kerala Police registered a case against the Father, doctors who did the surgery of the minor girl and the administrators of the foundling home. The Father is in custody and the case is on trial in a lower court in Kerala.
Senior counsel R. Basant, who appeared for the two doctors, who assisted in the delivery of the minor’s child, and the administrator sought for discharge of the three accused from the trial under the Pocso Act. He argued that these three accused had no direct link with the offence and that they should be discharged.
Agreeing with Mr Basant, the Bench said there is no direct link or chain of events that could be directed towards the doctors to be prosecuted within the provisions of Section 19 of the Pocso Act.
In Kerala HC, a PIL filed on Wednesday said that “Compulsory confession” as a condition for fulfilling other spiritual and temporal needs of the laity prevalent in many churches must be declared unconstitutional.
In his petition, C.S. Chacko submitted that imposing implied or expressed compulsion on a member of a church to confess sins before a priest or any other person for that purpose was nothing but an infringement of the Right to Privacy.