Rector's murder: SC notice to Karnataka police

Rector K.J. Thomas was found murdered at the St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary on the morning of April 1, 2013.

Fr K J Thomas
New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court on Mar 31 issued notice to the Karnataka police and others on a plea by Bengaluru’s St Peter's Pontifical Seminary against Karnataka High Court's order quashing a criminal case against five accused in the sensational murder of Fr K J Thomas in 2013. Fr Thomas was the rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Institute in Malleswaram.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao also sought response from the accused, who were Kannada Christian activists, and named in the supplementary charge sheet filed more than two years after the incident.

It was alleged that the father was killed on April 1, 2013 following a rivalry between him and Kannada Christian activists, who wanted primacy for Kannada Christians in the Catholic churches in Karnataka.

The non-Kannada members of the congregations, mainly Malayalam, Tamil and Konkani speaking Christians projected this theory of the killing having been master-minded by the Kannada Christian activists.

The Church, represented by senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, challenged the Karnataka High Court’s order of August 30, 2016, quashing the criminal case against accused number 6 to 12. The accused-respondents were represented by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sanjay Nuli on caveat.

The petitioner seminary cited statements of complaint witnesses Fr John Abraham, resident professor and Doplhy D'Cunha, who claimed that just two days prior to the murder, accused number 7 to 12 had participated at a massive rally and had made speeches denigrating the non-Kannada members of the Church. They allegedly quoted from the Holy Bible, the ominous sentence: “It is better that, one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perishes.”

The high court had set aside the proceedings against the accused, saying the case against accused number 1 to 5 itself was on the basis of circumstantial evidence, the case against the petitioners who are sought to be arrayed as accused number 6 to 12 (accused no 8 is dead) stands even more diluted.

Source: Deccan Herald

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