A Kerala court on Saturday extended the bail of former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of sexually assaulting a nun, till January 6, reported ANI. Mulakkal, who was arrested on September 21, 2018, on rape charges, has been out on bail since October 16, 2018.
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 trial is now likely to start from January 6, according to IANS.
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.