Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested by the Kerala police on Friday on charges of raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation in Kottayam, has been remanded to judicial custody till October 6 by the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court on Monday.
On Saturday, the Bishop was produced before the magistrate court after his 2-day police custody ended. The police had secured his custody till September 24. On Monday, the bishop filed an application seeking bail when he was produced in court, which was rejected by the magistrate. He now will be lodged in Pala sub-jail till October 6.
Meanwhile, the Bishop has also moved Kerala High Court seeking bail in the case. The High court has adjourned the bail application to Thursday.
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.
He was finally arrested on Friday after he was questioned in the case for three consecutive days. Superintendent of Police Harishankar had told media persons late on Friday evening that they had found evidence of rape against the Bishop and hence decided the arrest him. The news led to celebrations at Vanchi Square near the High Court in Kochi where protesters - led by 5 nuns from the Catholic Missionaries of Jesus congregation - were on a strike for the past 14 days to get the accused Bishop arrested.
On Saturday, videos showed rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal being taken to the local magistrate court in Pala with heavy police security, even as scores of people were seen thronging the court premises to see him. And as the crowds booed collectively, the rape accused was seen wearing a smile as he moved through the crowds and entered the police van.
Last week, a day before his arrest, the Apostolic Nunciature (Popeās 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.