A court in Kerala on Friday handed over the chargesheet in the nun rape case to former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of committing the crime, reported News18. The court also accepted the former bishop’s request to extend his bail, and scheduled the next hearing on June 7.

Mulakkal came to the court along with 12 other priests, several women supporters and his family members. “We are part of Mulakkal family and we believe bishop has not done this crime,” one of Mulakkal’s supporters told NDTV. “We have come to support him.”

The Kerala Police had filed the chargesheet against Mulakkal on April 9, seven months after his arrest. The charges against the bishop include illegal confinement, rape, unnatural sex, detention of woman, and repeated sexual abuse of the complainant. The police had also submitted a 1,400-page supplementary document containing confidential statements.

The case

In June 2018, the police filed a case against Mulakkal after the nun from the Missionaries of Jesus congregation accused 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’s Kottayam and Kannur districts. The alleged abuse took place in Kottayam.

Mulakkal has repeatedly denied the charges and accused the nun of exacting revenge on him for ordering an inquiry into a complaint against her. He has filed a complaint against the complainant and five other nuns, accusing them of framing him, and also claimed that there were “several contradictions” in the evidence collected by the police.