Rape-accused bishop Franco Mulakkal likely to be arrested: Kerala govt

Decision will be taken after police question the bishop in connection with the case

Franco Mulakkal Bishop Franco Mulakkal | Diocese of Jalandhar

The Kerala government on Monday told the high court that bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, is likely to be arrested.

The government told the court that a decision on the arrest would be taken after the police question him in connection with the case.

The government claimed that the delay in the probe was due to the fact that the case dated back to 2014. Meanwhile, sources said the bishop may be questioned later in the day itself.

However, officers have been asked to not question him at the Bishop's House in Jalandhar, citing possible threat to law and order. Instead, the bishop is likely to be summoned to the headquarters of the Punjab police for interrogation.

Believers had thronged the Bishop's House en masse recently following rumours that the bishop was about to be grilled by cops.

Police sources said evidence collection is in the final stage.

Two days ago, a police team from Kerala's Kottayam district questioned nuns at the Mission of Jesus Sisters (MJS) convent in Jalandhar cantonment area for eight hours.

According to sources, the six-member police team, including a woman, questioned the three nuns, including mother superior of the mission, Sister Regina. The nun, who complained against the bishop, was part of MJS, Jalandhar.

In her complaint to the Kottayam district police chief, the nun had accused Mulakkal of having sexually exploited her at a small town near Kottayam between 2014 and 2016.

Clergymen supporting Mulakkal had said the nun had led the complaint against the bishop after a priest, also an official of the Jalandhar Diocese, complained that her relatives had threatened the bishop.

The bishop has been claiming innocence in the case right from beginning.