The Kerala High Court denied the bail plea of Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over charges of repeated rapes of a nun.
Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan dismissed the bail plea while accepting the prosecution's argument that the accused, if granted bail, holding a high position in society will try to influence witnesses in the case, as reported by New Indian Express.
Bishop Mulakkal was arrested on 21 September after three days of questioning amidst shock waves across the country. He was remanded by a magisterial court to 12 days in judicial custody on September 24.
In its remand report submitted in the court, police had said the nun was abused by the Bishop 13 times at the guest house of St Francis Mission Home, Kuravilangad in Kerala between 2014 and 2016.
The nun claimed that she had to approach the police as the Church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman. Police said that the investigation in the case is progressing even after the arrest of the accused and more statements of fellow nuns have to be recorded before the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.
Mullakal who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, Punjab, is the first bishop in the country to be sent to jail on charges of rape. The former Bishop, who denied all the charges, was visited by Mar Mathew Arackal, Bishop of the Syro –Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Kanjirappally, who likened him to Jesus Christ. When asked about the innocence of the Bishop, he replied partisanly, “ Was Jesus Christ crucified because he was guilty?”, as reported by BT.
One of the five nuns who took to the streets in Kochi in an indefinite protest demanding the bishop's arrest, on Saturday told the media: "This protest would not have taken place, had our church authorities taken our complaints seriously. We never did this for our benefit, instead we wanted to ensure that there would never be another bishop like Mulakkal who would turn a tormentor," the nun added, reported by the Outlook.
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