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India’s Supreme Court rejects bail for nun held seven months, not charged

India’s Supreme Court rejected bail for a Missionaries of Charity nun arrested nearly seven months ago on suspicion of child trafficking.

Ucanews.com reported the top court turned down the plea from Missionaries of Charity Sr Concilia on 29th January on grounds that police had not yet pressed charges in the case. However, the court left the door open for her to file another application and also told the police to file formal charges soon.

On 5th July, Sr Concilia, who headed the Nirmal Hriday (tender heart) home for unmarried mothers in Jharkhand’ s state capital, Ranchi, was initially remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

The 61-year-old nun was arrested along with a staff member at the home following complaints that the staff member accepted money from a childless couple to give them a baby and then failed to do so.

Sr Concilia, who has diabetes, has been denied bail twice, prompting her plea to the Supreme Court.

“We feel very sad that an innocent and physically unwell nun is behind bars,” said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Indian bishops’ conference.

“We are pained that an aged innocent nun remains in jail when murderers and other hardcore criminals get bail,” the bishop told ucanews.com.

Picture: Indian police stand outside the premises of the Missionaries of Charity home in Ranchi, where Sr Concilia was arrested on 5th July 2018, on suspicion of child trafficking. On 29th January the Indian Supreme Court rejected bail for the nun, who has not yet been charged. (CNS photo/Reuters).