A month after denying bail, the Kottayam Additional Sessions Court on Friday granted bail to the rape-accused Bishop Franco who is the prime accused in the nun rape case in Kerala.
According to the reports, the court granted bail to the rape accused Bishop after he furnished fresh bail sureties. The court will now hear the case on August 13, 2020, when the charge-sheet will be read out in the court.
The rape-accused Mulakkal was also present in the Court on Friday. The court also directed him not to leave the state until the charge-sheet is read out to him on August 13. The court has also ordered the rape-accused to be present court on the dates of hearing of the case.
The prosecution also submitted that the accused, who had allegedly tested positive for coronavirus in July in Jalandhar, Punjab, had not submitted a coronavirus negative certificate before the court. The court directed that the issue be looked into by the health department.
Supreme Court dismisses Bishop Franco’s petition
On Wednesday, in a big setback for the Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the Supreme Court had also dismissed his petition seeking to clear rape charges against him. Bishop Franco, who is accused of raping a 44-year-old nun will now have to face trial in the rape case.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to quash Kerala High Court’s order that had dismissed his discharge plea in the rape case. The Kerala High Court had ruled that the rape-accused Bishop must face trial in the case after the prosecution had argued that there was enough evidence against him.
Franco Mulakkal had moved Supreme Court after a trial court in Kottayam had cancelled his bail on grounds that he had failed to appear before the court several timings despite several warnings. Earlier, on July 13, the Additional Sessions Court had cancelled the bail granted to the rape accused Bishop Franco of failing to appear for the trial and had issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Franco Mulakkal’s counsel had claimed that the accused had tested positive for coronavirus and hence was not able to appear before the court.
Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, was accused of raping a 44-year-old nun at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and subsequent sexual exploitations afterwards. The nun had registered a complaint in June 2018 and has also claimed that despite her complaints, the church took no action on the bishop.