The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of two priests--Jaise K. George and Father Sony Varghese-- in connection with Kerala's Malankara Orthodox Church case.
The Apex Court division bench, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprised of Justice Ashok Bhushan, asked both the accused priests to surrender before the police by August 13.
The court noted that the petitions of the two accused priests are devoid of merits.
"The petition of accused persons are devoid of merits and thereby we dismiss their prayers," the two-judge bench of the top court observed.
The top court also asked both the accused priests George and Varghese, to surrender their mobile phones to the police to ensure that the investigation would be carried out properly.
On July 26, the court had asked the Kerala Government to furnish a status report by today in the case.
The two priests, along with others, are accused in the Kerala Church sex scandal case. The key accused, Varghese, along with his associate George, had earlier knocked the doors of the court seeking anticipatory bail in the case.
A case was registered in June against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Church for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in Kottayam. The accused allegedly threatened to disclose the victim's confessions, made in church.
The incident came to light when the victim's husband recovered an audio clip related to the case, following which investigation was initiated by the church.
The Malankara Orthodox Church had suspended all the priests after the complaint was filed. One out of the four priests of accused in the case surrendered on July 12.