HC rejects Bishop Franco Mulakkal's discharge plea in nun rape case

The nun had alleged that Franco subjected her to sexual abuse between 2014 and 2016

franco-bishop-questioned (File) Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, leaves after being grilled | PTI

In a setback to rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the Kerala High Court, on Tuesday, dismissed a petition seeking to discharge him from the sexual assault case filed against him by a nun. Justice V. Shircy directed the deposed Bishop of Jalandhar diocese to stand for trial in the rape case, which was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a nun of same diocese in Kerala.

The court dismissed the plea by the bishop, admitting the prosecution argument that there was prima facie evidence against Mulakkal in the rape case, which was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a nun of Jalandhar diocese. The senior priest of the Roman Catholic Church filed the revision petition following the dismissal of his discharge plea by a trial court in March this year.

The rape case against the Bishop was registered by police in Kottayam district.

In his plea filed before the High Court, the priest argued that he was implicated after he questioned the financial dealings of the victim nun.

The bishop had filed the discharge plea in the trial court just ahead of commencement of the preliminary hearing on charges against him.

In her complaint to the police in June, 2018, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by the bishop during the period between 2014 and 2016.

The bishop, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team which probed the case, has been charged with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation.