The Kerala High Court has dismissed the bail plea of accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested by the Kerala police in connection with the rape of a nun.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21st after the investigating team finally found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case. The rape accused was produced in the Pala court earlier on September 24th and the court had extended his police custody till October 6th.
Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan of the Kerala High court rejected the bail plea on the view that the rape accused Bishop is influential. The court also pointed out the availability of evidence to pursue the case and evidence shows that there are materials that prima facie show that the allegations against the Bishop are true and serious.
According to the reports, the senior counsel appearing for the bishop argued that the nun changed her complaint from sexual harassment to rape after she was subjected to a medical examination and requested the court to take this issue into cognisance. The counsel also submitted video documents to prove that the Bishop had visited the nun’s house the next day of the alleged rape to have happened.
The public prosecutor arguing against the bail plea presented the 150 pages of nun’s statements. He also said that the investigation is now in a critical stage and asked the court to record the statements of five nuns and two others involved in the case. He argued that letting the Bishop out on bail would affect the collection of evidence.
Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is said to have raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and exploited her sexually on several other occasions. The nun has registered a complaint in June this year and has been allegedly threatened by the accused of doing so. The congregation has also stood by the rape accused and referred to him as an “innocent soul”. We had also reported that Kerala MLA PC George had called the alleged rape victim a ‘prostitute’.