The top court in southern India’s Kerala state has asked police to investigate allegations of breach of trust involving Cardinal George Alencherry.
Ucanews.com reported the High Court of Kerala’s move on 6th March allows criminal proceedings to be taken against the major archbishop and head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
The cardinal, two senior priests and a real estate agent are accused of selling several plots of lands belonging to the cardinal’s Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, incurring a loss of more than £7 million.
“The police are to investigate if there was a breach of trust. They need to ascertain if the accused have disposed of the property entrusted to them dishonestly or misappropriated it for their own use,” Litto Palathinkal, the archdiocese’s legal consultant, told ucanews.com.
If a criminal breach of trust is proved, the accused face fines and jail terms of up to three years, the lawyer said.
Palathinkal said arrest and detention are warranted only if police need the accused in custody for interrogation to prove a crime or to prevent the accused from absconding.
Picture: An Indian court has asked police to investigate allegations of breach of trust involving Cardinal George Alencherry of India, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. Cardinal Alencherry is pictured in a 2012 photo. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic).