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Will give you land, safety if you withdraw rape case: Priest ‘threatens’ Kerala nun

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Thiruvananthapuram: The priest who allegedly made a phone call to Kerala-based nun offering “land, building and safety” if the rape complaint against a Bishop is dropped, has been asked to step down.
According to reports, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Congregation termed the alleged phone call to be an unfortunate incident and Father James Erthayil of the Kanjirappallly diocese has been asked to step down.
A conversation between priest and a nun in Kerala has been leaked, adding fuel to allegations about how Catholic Church is attempting to bury complaints of sexual harassment by clergymen.
An 11-minute audio clip is between Father James Erthayil of the Kanjirappallly diocese of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and Sister Anupama from the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam, who was one of the five nuns who came out in support of a 44-year-old nun, allegedly sexually abused by Bishop Franco Mullakkal of Jalandhar diocese.
The nun had alleged that Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullackal sexually abused her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. She went to the police only after the Bishop filed a complaint against her and five others, accusing them of threatening and blackmailing him.
The Bishop, who has been booked for rape by Kerala police, has on his part, claimed innocence and said he is a victim of vendetta for taking disciplinary action against the nun.
The leaked audio of the alleged phone call to the nun who stood by the rape survivor now finds another priest acting as a mediator who made a phone call offering, “land, building and safety” if she withdrew her rape complaint against the Jalandhar Bishop.
According to reports the leaked phone call sees one priest introducing himself to the 30-year-old nun Sister Anupama who has supported the survivor and saying, “We can buy some land, build a convent and shift you all there safely. This won’t happen tomorrow but everything has a time. We can think about it.”
In the telephonic conversation, the Father is heard making veiled threats if the woman doesn’t withdraw her complaint.
“If you all are adamant on your stand, this won’t happen. If you withdraw your complaint and go to one of your convents in Odisha, Andhra, threats may arise. But if you move independently and go under some other Bishop, there won’t be any threats. It will be good if you think about this and if you decide to do this positively, I will help you in any way possible. I can’t do everything, but will help in whatever I can do. In the sense that we can buy some land, build a house, shift them. They will support. I suggested this because they have said they will support,” he says.
The nun asks who will “support” the family, the Jalandhar Diocese? He answers with a “yes”.
“If we have to buy 10 acres of land and build a decent building for everyone, it’s not easy. So they will help, but their condition is that this case must be withdrawn,” he explains.
The nun refused the offer and told the Father they won’t withdraw any case. “We must get justice. We don’t desire to lose any life, or sell our dignity,” she said.
The priest, who allegedly acted as a mediator, continued his attempt to persuade the nun and said, “I’ve understood the situation. I respect your feeling. I was just giving my suggestion. So they are actually thinking about buying some land for this in Erumely and Ranni area. So in that case, you can stay in that compound itself.”


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Hindu woman-Muslim man marraige not ‘regular or valid’ but child born is legitimate: SC

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New Delhi: A marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man is not a “regular or valid” but the child born out of such wedlock is legitimate, the Supreme Court held.

It also said that the legal effect of such an irregular marriage is that a wife is entitled to get dower but cannot inherit the husband’s property.

The court held that the child born in an irregular marriage is legitimate just like in the case of a valid marriage and is entitled to inherit the property of the father.

 

A bench of justices N V Ramana and M M Shantanagoudar upheld the order of the Kerala High Court by which it was ruled that the son of a couple – Mohammed Ilias and Valliamma (who was Hindu at the time of marriage) – was legitimate and was entitled for share in his father’s property according to law.

“We conclude that the marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fire?worshipper is neither a valid nor a void marriage, but is merely an irregular marriage. Any child born out of such wedlock is entitled to claim a share in his father’s property,” the bench said.

The top court while dismissing the appeal against the high court order said that since Hindus are idol worshippers, which includes worship of physical images or statues through offering of flowers and adornment, it is clear that the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man is merely an irregular one.

It was hearing a property dispute matter in which Shamsuddin, son of Ilias and Valliamma, claimed share in the ancestral property through inheritance after the death of his father.

It said “the legal effect of an irregular marriage is that in case of consummation, though the wife is entitled to get dower, she is not entitled to inherit the properties of the husband. But the child born in that marriage is legitimate just like in the case of a valid marriage, and is entitled to inherit the property of the father.”

The court, on the other hand, said that the effect of a void marriage is that it does not create any civil right or obligations between the parties and the children born out of such wedlock are illegitimate.

The bench said that under Muslim law, a marriage is not a sacrament but a civil contract and there are three types of marriage – valid, irregular and void.

The court said that high court relied on principles of Islamic law to conclude that such rules do not treat the marriage of a Muslim with a Hindu woman as void, and confers legitimacy upon children born out of such wedlock.

Referring to this law, the bench said that a marriage which is not valid may be either void or invalid.

“A void marriage is one which is unlawful in itself, the prohibition against such a marriage being perpetual and absolute. An invalid marriage is described as one which is not unlawful in itself, but unlawful for something else…(like absence of witnesses),” the bench said.

Shamsuddin’s claim over property was opposed by his cousins who alleged that his mother was not the legally wedded wife of Ilias and she was a Hindu by religion at the time of marriage.

They claimed that she had not converted to Islam at the time of her marriage, and thus Shamshuddin being the son of Valliamma, is not entitled to any share in Ilias’s property.

The top court said that it was not disputed that Valliamma was the wife of Ilias and contrary to the claims, birth register records maintained by statutory authorities indicate that Shamshuddin was their son.

“On the contrary, he is the legitimate son of Mohammed Ilias, and consequently is entitled to inherit the shares claimed in the estate of his father,” it said.

It said that it was also not denied that Ilias and Valliamma were living together as husband and wife at Thiruvananthapuram.

“Under these circumstances, in our considered opinion, the trial court and the high court were justified in concluding, based on the preponderance of probabilities, that Valliamma was the legally wedded wife of Mohammed Ilias, and the plaintiff (Shamshuddin) was the child born out of the said wedlock,” it held.

The bench also upheld the finding of the high court that though Shamshuddin was born out of a ‘fasid’ (irregular) marriage, he cannot be termed as an illegitimate son of Ilias.

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9 men including teenager arrested by Maharashtra ATS for links with ISIS

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Mumbai: Nine men including a teenager have been arrested for terror links from Maharashtra’s Mumbra, Thane and Aurangabad.

Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) alleged that all of them are linked to the ISIS terror group.

The Maharashtra ATS was investigating the presence of sleeper cell ahead of Republic Day.

 

“Based on reliable information, total 9 youths have been brought for questioning. Inquiries are in progress. Further details will be informed in due course,” said ATS.

ATS also said that certain chemicals, powder, mobile phones, hard drives SIM cards, acid bottle, sharp knives etc were seized during searches.

A case has been registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.

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Priyanka named Cong Gen Secy for UP East, may contest from Rae Bareli

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Mumbai :Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took the political plunge on Wednesday, just a few months before the Lok Sabha election with Congress president Rahul Gandhi naming his sister as the All India Congress Committee General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East.

Priyanka Gandhi will take charge in the first week of February 2019. She is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from the Gandhi bastion of Rae Bareli, sources told Zee News. The seat is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by her mother Sonia Gandhi.

Speaking on the development, senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra said, “The responsibility given to Priyanka ji is very important. This will not only have an effect on eastern Uttar Pradesh but also other regions.”

 

The Congress also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as the General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West and KC Venugopal as Congress General Secretary (Organisation).

Venugopal remains the AICC General Secretary in-charge for Karnataka, a state the Congress is in power in alliance with the Janata Dal Secular of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress Lok Sabha MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh and one of the architects of the party’s victory in the recent assembly election in the state, will handle Uttar Pradesh West as the party General Secretary.

“Hon’ble Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi has appointed Shri K C Venugopal as AICC General Secretary (organisation) with immediate effect He will continue in his role as AICC General Secretary In-Charge for Karnataka. The note reads – The Party appreciates the contribution of Shri Ashok Gehlot as AICC General Secretary (Organisation). Hon’ble Congress President has also appointed Smt Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. She will be taking charge with effect on first week of February 2019. Hon’ble Congress President has also appointed Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West with immediate effect. The Party appreciates the contribution of Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad as AICC General Secretary of Uttar Pradesh He will now be AICC General Secretary for Haryana with immediate effect,” read the Congress press release.

Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state in the Lok Sabha with 80 seats, is likely to see a triangular contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, Samajwadi-Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine and Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Reacting to the development, BJP leader Sambit Patra said, “This is not a challenge for BJP. This was expected. It’s family dynasty and reflects that Rahul Gandhi has failed. And in future, Robert Vadra too will enter politics. Only a Gandhi can become president of the party.”

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