Ex-Bishop from Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal, who is facing charges of rape and sexual exploitation, has tested positive for Covid-19. The Kottayam court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Monday. Father Peter, PRO of Mulakkal, said that his health condition is bad.
Mulakkal’s counsel had informed the Kerala court on Monday, 6th July, that he cannot appear in court as he had to self-quarantine after coming in contact with a coronavirus infected person.
As per reports, Mulakkal had met his Jalandhar-based advocate on 29th June and 30th June. The advocate was later tested positive on 3rd July. After that, Mulakkal went in self-quarantine. His sample was tested that came negative on 6th July. He started showing symptoms later that week. The authorities retook his sample and found him Covid-19 positive yesterday.
Bail was cancelled, non bailable warrant was issued on July 13
On the 1st July hearing, his counsel had informed the court that he could not appear as Jalandhar is a containment zone. However, the prosecution submitted records of Jalandhar administration that showed the area in which Mulakkal lives to be out of the containment zone.
The prosecution claimed that the accused is trying to delay the trial, after which the Court cancelled his bail and asked police to produce him on 13th August. A petition was filed in the Kerala High Court on 7th July seeking orders to discharge Mulakkal from the sexual assault case against him. The court dismissed the petition and directed deposed Bishop to stand for trial in the Kerala nun rape case.
On July 13, the Kottayam court had cancelled Mulakkal’s bail and had issued a non-bailable warrant against him. The court has ordered to produce him on 13th August, but due to coronavirus guidelines, positive patients are not allowed to travel.
It is notable here that the non-bailable warrant was issued after Mulakkal failed to appear in 13 consecutive hearings.
In the complaint filed by the Kerala nun in June 2018, she alleged that then-Bishop Mulakkal sexually abused her between 2014 and 2016. The Special Investigation Team arrested him on the pretext of rape, unnatural sex, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.