Rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal's bail has been cancelled by Kottayam Additional District Court and a non-bailable warrant has been issued against him. The Bishop was not present for the hearing again today; his lawyer stated that he had to go into quarantine as one of his advocates had tested coronavirus positive.
However, on July 1 also, the Bishop had skipped the hearing, with his counsel telling the court that the Bishop was in a containment zone. However, the public prosecutor today 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.
The Kerala High Court in 2018 granted conditional bail to Mulakkal, who was arrested over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting the nun.
The allegations were leveled by a nun who accused him of sexual assault on the night of May 5, 2014. She said she was raped multiple times thereafter till September 23, 2016. The bishop had been charged with rape, wrongful confinement, unnatural offence and criminal intimidation.
The nun said she had to approach the police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints.
The survivor and other nuns living in the same hostel had earlier repeatedly complained of intimidation and pressure from church authorities. They claimed the church was trying to separate them from the survivor.
Earlier, huge protests had broken out in Kerala demanding the arrest of the clergyman. Other nuns had also joined the protests to show solidarity with the survivor.
A nun had also been dismissed months after she had appeared in a protest. She was accused of violating church rules like appearing on television and social media, buying a car, making monitory transactions by publishing a book and violating dress code. The nun, however, alleged that she was dismissed because she took part in protests to support the nun who raise allegations against the Bishop.
Franco Mulakkal had denied the charges as "baseless and concocted".
He had stepped aside as the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese following the allegations. However, he still continues to hold the title of 'Bishop' officially.
In March this year, the court had dismissed a case discharge petition filed by the Bishop.