Bishop Franco Mulakkal was on Saturday remanded to police custody till September 24 by a magistrate’s court in Kottayam in connection with the rape case of a 44-year-old nun of the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ) congregation. Bishop Franco’s bail plea has also been rejected by the court.
The police produced a remand report produced before the magistrate, which states, “Franco Mulakkal came to the convent with the intention of sexually assaulting the victim.”
According to reports, the police told the court that they needed three days custody in order to take the bishop to the spots where the crime took place and collect more evidence. In the court, the bishop’s lawyer did not oppose custody but put forward a condition that Mulakkal's blood samples and saliva must not be taken without his permission citing that it can be misused, reports ANI. The bishop’s counsel had also filed a bail application, which was later rejected by the court.
The Bishop was on Friday arrested on charges of raping a 44-year-old nun between 2014 and 2016. He was questioned in the case for three consecutive days and was taken into custody on Friday night. Addressing the media after his arrest, Kottayam SP Harishankar told the media that there was enough material with the investigating team to show that Bishop Franco Mulakkal had committed the crime, which is why they decided to go ahead with his arrest.
After his arrest, he was being taken to Kottayam from Kochi after his arrest when he complained of chest pain and was admitted to Government Medical College in Kottayam.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been charged with the rape of a 44-year-old nun between 2014 to 2016. The nun had filed a complaint in June alleging that she was sexually assaulted by the bishop multiple times between the two years in the Kuravilangad convent in Kerala.
On Thursday, the Apostolic Nunciature (Pope’s Ambassador) to India accepted the request of the rape accused Bishop to relieve him of his religious duties temporarily. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay, to take over the duties of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.