HC dismisses plea for CBI probe into allegations of sexual abuse against the clergy
The Delhi High Court Tuesday dismissed a PIL for a thorough investigation by the CBI or an SIT into all allegations of sexual abuse made against the clergy. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao declined to entertain the plea, saying it contained no specific incidents other than the recent complaint of alleged sexual abuse of a Kerala nun by a Catholic priest which is already being looked into.
"We'll not look into all this. Dismissed," the bench said. The plea had sought a thorough probe by CBI or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the ground that the nun's complaint was allegedly ignored by the Church.
Petitioner Sanjjiiv Kkumaar had also sought a direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to set up a 'clergy abuse hotline' so that such sexually abused victims and survivors "may come forward to seek justice by registering their grievance and any person may give leads/tips to the law enforcement agency." He had also claimed there was an allegation of sexual abuse in a Delhi catholic retreat centre which was required to be investigated and the victim nun has written an anonymous letter to church authorities who chose not to act "against the perpetrator".
The plea had alleged that the inaction of church authorities is against the principle of natural justice and the victims have found it impossible to get their allegations taken seriously by the Catholic churches. The plea had also referred to the case of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is an accused in Kerala nun rape case and presently out on bail, and said Mulakkal was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi in January 2009.
It had claimed there was a "possibility" that the bishop, who allegedly raped the Kerala nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to a convent in Kottayam district in Kerala, would have done the same with many children and women during his period as Auxiliary Bishop in Delhi.
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