Indian bishop cleared by court of abuse charges

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A court in the Southern Indian city of Bangalore has dismissed charges of sexual harassment and intimidation lodged against the bishop in the Karnataka Central Diocese, the Rt. Rev. P.K. Samuel.

In February 2019 detectives from the Central Crime Branch launched an investigation after a 27-year old woman approached Karnataka home minister M.B. Patil, alleging Bishop Samuel and an aide, Vinod Dasan, had sexually harassed her. The day before, the woman attempted suicide in a hospital in Shivajinagar after confronting the bishop.

In 2013 Dasan allegedly sexually harassed the complainant, prompting her to file a complaint with the police. On 21 Jan 2019 the woman alleged Bishop Samuel offered her a job and money in exchange for dropping the case. When the complainant refused to drop her case, the woman stated the bishop abused her.

The Karnataka Central Diocese released a statement earlier this year stating: “The Bishop categorically denies the allegations and complaints filed by an unknown person against him. From all available information, it is evident that there is a concerted effort by a group of people to vilify and tarnish the image of the Bishop, to the extent of filing a false police complaint. The Bishop is willing to face the investigations with a clear conscience and is sure that the truth will prevail.”

Last week Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate found the complaint was unfounded and absolved the bishop and Dasan of all charges. 

Sources in the CSI tell Anglican Ink that Bishop Samuel is considered to be a leading candidate for the post of moderator of the Church of South India. His supporters believe the false allegation was made to derail his candidacy.