Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ) congregation in Kottayam, has sought for bail yet again. Mulakkall had last sought bail on October 3, which was rejected by the magistrateâ€™s court.
Mulakkal has now claimed that the reasons for which he was denied bail the first time no longer applied.
Franco Mulakkal has once again sought bail, claiming that the reasons for which he was denied bail the first time no longer applied. Citing that he was no longer in charge of the Jalandhar diocese and was in no position to dominate or influence witnesses, like the prosecution had earlier claimed, Mulakkal appealed for bail.
Furthermore, he also stated that the witnesses have been given full protection. He also added that his visit to a hospital following the arrest were signs of his deteriorating health condition and that he should be granted bail on these grounds.
The former head of the Jalandhar diocese was arrested almost three months after a complaint issued by one of the nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus who accused the bishop of raping her. After the news broke, several protests were held in support of the nun calling for the bishopâ€™s arrest. Many, including the sister of the victim, even took part in a hunger strike.
Despite opposition, the nuns did not back down. The Jalandhar diocese even ousted the identity of the victim and attempted to blame and shame her following the allegations.
After being questioned for 3 days, the police finally arrested him. On September 21, Thripunithra Crime Branch Police had arrested the bishop, three months after the nun had filed a complaint accusing him of raping her. Kottayam SP Harishankar spoke to media following the arrest and stated that enough material had been obtained during the probe to arrest the bishop.
Police filed an affidavit with the Kerala High Court stating that enough evidence had been gathered to confirm the charges against the bishop.