A court in Kerala on Monday cancelled the bail granted to deposed bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun in 2018, ANI reported.
Judge G Gopakumar of the Kottayam Additional District Court issued a non-bailable warrant against Mulakkal. The case was scheduled for hearing on July 1 but Mulakkal did not appear in court. His lawyer had claimed that he was in a coronavirus containment zone in Punjab’s Jalandhar district and could not make his court appearance because of restrictions.
Special Prosecutor Jithesh Babu, however, told the court that the area where Mulakkal lived in Jalandhar was not a containment zone, The Times of India reported. He also accused Mulakkal of trying to delay the trial. The hearing in the case has now been adjourned to August 13.
Last week, the Kerala High Court had rejected Mulakkal’s petition seeking discharge in the case and directed him to face trial. The court said that the prosecution had shown evidence against him in the case.
The police had filed a case against Mulakkal in June 2018 after a nun in the Missionaries of Jesus congregation accused him of raping her multiple times between 2014 and 2016 in Kottayam.
Mulakkal, who was arrested in September 2018, has repeatedly denied the charges and accused the nun of seeking revenge for ordering an inquiry into a complaint against her. He was removed from his post after the allegations.
Earlier in February, another nun who is a witness in the rape trial against Mulakkal alleged that he had made unwanted physical contact with her. In her statement, which is part of a chargesheet filed by the Kerala Police last year, the nun alleged that the incident took place in Mulakkal’s room at a convent.