Kerala’s Pala judicial magistrate court on Monday sent rape accused and former bishop Franco Mulakkal to judicial custody till October 6, ANI reported. On September 21, the state police arrested Mulakkal, after three days of questioning, for allegedly raping a nun.
Mulakkal was shifted to Pala sub-jail after he underwent a medical examination at a government hospital in Kottayam, reported PTI.
The Kerala Police had taken him to the St Francis Mission Home guest house in Kuravilangadu to help them reconstruct the crime scene on September 23, PTI reported. The Kerala High Court rejected Mulakkal’s bail petition on September 22 and sent him to two days in police custody.
In June, the police filed charges against Mulakkal after a nun in the Missionaries of Jesus congregation filed a complaint accusing him of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 in Kottayam. The congregation is based in Punjab’s Jalandhar district but it runs two convents in Kerala – one in Kottayam and the other in Kannur. The alleged abuse took place in Kottayam.
Mulakkal has denied the charges and accused the nun of taking revenge on him for ordering an inquiry into a complaint against her. He filed a complaint against the complainant and five other nuns, accusing them of framing him.
The Missionaries of Jesus has said its internal investigation found Mulakkal to be innocent. The organisation has also accused the nun of being in a relationship with a taxi driver. The bishop, too, claims that there are “several contradictions” in the evidence collected by the police.
The Catholic Church in India comprises Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara churches.