The Kerala High Court on Tuesday said it will consider the anticipatory bail plea filed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun in Kerala, on September 25, The Times of India reported.

Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V asked the prosecution to inform its views by September 25 when the court will hear the arguments of both sides. Mulakkal is due to appear for interrogation before the Kerala Police on Wednesday.

In his bail plea, Mulakkal claimed the allegations of rape are false and that the complainant is acting on “personal vengeance” against him. He agreed to cooperate during the investigation and asked not to be arrested. Mulakkal also claimed that the complainant and her family had threatened to kill him.

On Monday, Mulakkal wrote a letter to Pope Francis, seeking permission to temporarily step down from his responsibilities at the Jalandhar Diocese. In the letter dated September 16, Mulakkal said he needs more time to fight his case and to travel to Kerala.

Meanwhile, the protest by a group of five nuns in Kochi calling for Mulakkal’s arrest entered the 10th day on Tuesday. The nuns launched their sit-in protest on September 8 after Catholic Church officials allegedly failed to act against the bishop. Mahila Congress State General Secretary M Haripriya started an indefinite strike, reported ANI.

On Monday, the protesting nuns were joined by the complainant’s sister, reported The Hindu. Later in the day, writer and social activist P Geetha also joined the protestors.