The Supreme Court has approved an investigation against a pastor and a woman for allegedly abducting a mentally challenged man, who she had divorced six years ago, and marrying him again for swindling the property his father bequeathed to him.
A bench led by Justice J S Khehar observed that the facts of the case warranted a probe against the woman as well as the pastor, who had conducted a “quick-fix” marriage to allegedly help her alienate properties of her husband for Rs 1.67 crore.
“Having heard the learned counsel for the petitioner, we are of the view that the impugned order passed by the High Court calls for no interference whatsoever,” said the apex court, while dismissing their appeal against a recent order.
While the woman shall be investigated by the CB-CID, the pastor’s role has to be probed by the Chennai district administration to ascertain why his marriage licence should not be cancelled. The court, however, added that the investigation against them will be carried out uninfluenced by any observation made by the Chennai High Court.
In its judgment, the High Court had expressed shock at the facts and drew a parallel with a “Sydney Sheldon narrative”.
R Priyadarshini married 29-year-old Manoj Rajan in 2008 in Chennai. She left him a year later and filed for divorce, alleging that she was deceived by her father-in-law who had concealed that his son was born mute and had a mental disorder. A district court granted them divorce ‘on mutual consent’ and even awarded a one-time alimony to her.
After Manoj’s father died in 2013, Manoj came under the care of his auditor-friend N Ananthan in accordance with his father’s will. Manoj’s father was an industrialist who left him huge properties, including land and buildings.
Manoj was later admitted in the Gudalur charity home, from where he was allegedly abducted by Priyadarshini, accompanied by her father, sister and a group of lawyers, on May 4. She got a pastor, John Amalraj, to conduct her marriage with Manoj on May 6 and had the marriage registered by the local sub-registrar. In less than a month after re-marrying Manoj, Priyadarshini sold one of his properties for a price of Rs 1.67 crore.
Meanwhile, Manoj’s guardian Ananthan moved the High Court with a habeas corpus petition, acting on which the court ordered the police to trace Manoj and lodge him securely in the shelter home.