Kerala court cancels bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal in rape case

The court also issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him

Bishop Franco Mulakkal | File Bishop Franco Mulakkal | File

A local court in Kerala on Monday cancelled the bail of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused in a rape case, after he failed to appear before the court despite several warnings. The Kottayam Additional District Court also issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against the deposed Bishop of Jalandhar diocese.

During the hearing on Monday, the Mulakkal's lawyer informed the court that he had to go into quarantine as one of his advocates had tested positive for COVID-19. On July 1, too, the Bishop had skipped the hearing with his lawyer informing the court that he was in a containment zone.

The public prosecutor on Monday argued that the Bishop's house and the area around it was not a containment zone and that it was a deliberate attempt to delay the case.

On July 7, the Kerala High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Mulakkal seeking to discharge him from the sexual assault 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 him.

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

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.