Mar George Alencherry, Supreme Court of India
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry requesting exemption from appearing in person before the Magistrate Court, Kakkanad, in a case related to the alleged illegal sale of land belonging to the Church. Earlier. Kerala High Court directed him to appear in person before the Magistrate Court.
In April 2019, a criminal case against Cardinal Alencherry was registered by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kakkanad, following a complaint filed by Joshy Varghese, a Perumbavoor native, claiming that properties in Kakkanad sold by the Cardinal caused financial losses to the Church.
Adv Sidharth Luthra, who appeared for the petitioner, requested the Supreme Court to consider the Cardinal's request. However, Adv Raghenth Basant, who appeared for the complainant, claimed that the High Court has noted that giving relief to a person like a Cardinal will only send a wrong message. He added that the High Court has mentioned that religious leaders cannot be granted any special excuse under the law.
Following this, the bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Dipankar Datta dismissed Cardinal's petition. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear a petition from Cardinal Mar George Alencherry requesting to dismiss the case against him and others filed by various Archdioceses in the state on January 10, 2023.