A Kerala court on Friday (14 January) acquitted former Bishop Of Jalandhar Diocese Franco Mulakkal of the charges of repeatedly raping a Nun in a convent in the southern State.
The Additional Sessions Judge, G Gopakumar Kottayam, delivered the highly awaited verdict.
As the prosecution failed to produce evidence against the accused, the Kottayam's Additional District and Sessions Court II acquitted the Bishop.
Mulakkal, 57, was accused of raping the nun multiple times during his visit to a convent in this district when he was the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic church.
It was alleged that earlier in 2018, the nun first approached higher officials in the church, including the Pope’s office, with serious accusations against Mulakkal who was then a senior priest. However, she received no response.
In June 2018, when Mulakkal was the head of the Jalandhar diocese in Punjab , the nun filed a complaint before the Kottayam District Police Chief accusing Mulakkal of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016, reports Bar and Bench.
The rape case against the Bishop was registered by police in Kottayam district in June, 2018.
The Special Investigation Team which probed the case, arrested the Bishop in September 2018 and charged him with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation.
Trial in the case, started in November 2019, had concluded on 10 January.
The court had restrained the print and electronic media from publishing any matter relating to the trial in the case without its permission.
(With inputs from PTI)
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