Quizzing of bishop, priest needed: police tell High Court

Alleged forgery of documents against Archbishop

The police on Thursday informed the Kerala High Court that the interrogation of Fr. Paul Thelakkat and Bishop Jacob Manathodath, accused in the case relating to forging bank documents against Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal George Alencherry, was required for conducting effective probe into the case.

In a statement, K.A. Vidhyadharan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Aluva, Ernakulam Rural, said there were altogether four accused in the case — Paul Thelakkat (first accused), Bishop Jacob Manathodath (second accused), Aditya Z. Valavi (third accused), and Fr. Antony Kallokkaran alias Tony (fourth accused). The investigation has revealed that the forged documents were created by Aditya Z. Valavi from his computer kept at his father’s hardware shop. The computer and the hard disk used by him were seized and produced in the court. It was also revealed during the investigation that the Archbishop did not have bank accounts in ICICI bank as mentioned in the forged documents. It was confessed by Aditya that he forged the documents and emailed them to Paul Thelakkat on the directive of Fr. Antony Kallokkaran, the police said.

The statement was filed in response to a petition filed by Fr. Paul Thelakkat and Bishop Jacob Manathodath seeking to quash the forgery case registered against them. The allegation was that the petitioners forged the documents and placed them before the synod of Syro-Malabar Church with an intention to defame the cardinal, the church and its institutions.

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