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Kerala HC Grants Bishop Franco Mulakkal Conditional Bail, Accused For Raping Nun

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| October 15 , 2018 , 13:02 IST

The Kerala High Court on Monday granted conditional bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal who has been accused by a Kerala nun of raping her repeatedly over a span of 2 years. The conditions laid down by the court include that Bishop Mulakkal should surrender his passport before the court and not enter Kerala except when ordered to by the court.

Bishop Mulakkal was arrested on September 21, nearly 87 days after a complaint was filed against him and was on September 24 sent to judicial custody by the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court after his anticipatory bail request was deferred. The court had then cited prima facie evidence against him to deny bail, stating that he would hamper the course of the investigation if free.

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In the complaint, a 44-year-old nun alleged that Bishop Mulakkal raped her 13 times over a period of 2 years from 2014 and 2016.

Several nuns rallied around the nun who accused the Bishop of sexually assaulting her repeatedly. She further accused that he used his political power and money from his position as Bishop to influence the case and investigations.

The victim nun had also written a letter to the Vatican dated September 8, of which 21 copies have been sent to others, in which she accuses the Bishop of rape and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016 and that she has turned to the Church authorities for justice.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, in a letter to Pope Francis dated September 16, requested permission to step down temporarily as the head of the Diocese of Jalandhar so as to spend more time to fight his case, media reported on Monday.

He said that he may have to travel to Kerala several times and so he wanted to hand over the responsibility of the diocese temporarily and named his successor as senior priest Mathew Kokkandam.