Kochi, October 3: The Kerala High Court Justice Raja Vijaya Raghavan, on Wednesday dismissed the bail application filed by ex-bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun for over a period of two years between 2014 and 2016 in Kottayam.
The court dismissed his bail plea on the grounds that there exists prima facie case against him.
On September 24, the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Pala remanded Franco to judicial custody till October 6, Mulakkal in his bail plea contended that his arrest was not fair as his anticipatory bail petition was pending before the High Court and refused to accept the Nun's allegations levelled against him by stating that the allegations of repeated rapes are concocted in order to recompense the action taken against her.
Nonetheless, while perusing the case diary, the Court noted that the statements of some witnesses in the case are not recorded yet and Mulakkal's release could also affect the progress of the further probe. It was also observed that he can influence the witnesses and hamper the investigation because of his influential position in the society.
On September 24, Mulakkal was arrested by the police after an intense interrogation which surfaced contradict statements and also there was a sound ground of his arrest on the basis of circumstantial evidence, witnesses's statements, and the nun’s statement recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC).
However, on September 27, when the Court reserved it's verdict, the learned counsel appearing for the bishop reiterated that the case against Mulakkal was concocted and once again declined all the allegations levelled against him.
Bishop Mulakkal, who was relieved of his pastoral duties by Pope Francis because of this alleged nun rape case against him, sought bail maintaining that he has cooperated with the investigation team in the case in every manner.
The issue pertains to the rape of a nun, who lodged her complaint against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, ordained as a priest for the Jalandhar diocese in April 1990, that he raped her repeatedly on various occasions and also subjected her to the unnatural sexual assault.
The incident came into light when Fr Peter Kavumpuram, Mulakkal's public relations officer, filed a police complaint against Nun's brother alleging that he gave life threats to the bishop.
On the contrary, it was claimed that the Bishop threatened the nun of dire consequences if in case, she reveals about her rape and molestation.