A special investigation team of Kerala police on Tuesday (9 April) submitted the chargesheet against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, seven months after he was arrested for sexually assaulting a nun, reports The Hindu.
Bishop Franco was taken into police custody on 21 September last year after being subjected to intense grilling for about two days.
The chargesheet was submitted by the investigating officer and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Vaikom, K Subhash before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Pala, in the afternoon.
According to the report, the detailed chargesheet contains statements and documents running over 2,000 pages and include five volumes. There are reportedly as many as 83 witnesses in the case.
The witnesses include Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Pala diocese, Bhagalpur Bishop Kurian Valiyakandathil and Bishop Sebastian Vadakkel of the diocese of Ujjain. As many as 25 nuns and 11 priests have also also been recorded as witnesses in the case.
As per the report, the case has been filed against the bishop under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 342, 376, 377 and 506. If the bishop is convicted of the charges, he may face life imprisonment or a jail term of not less than 10 years.
The court will reportedly issue summons to the bishop after verifying the chargesheet.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is, all in all, a reader-subscription-backed business model and in order to make sure we build a media platform with only the best interests of India at heart, we need your backing.
And in challenging times like this, we need your support now more than ever—to continue bringing you stories that are often shrugged off.
For us to invest in quality reporting and continue bringing you the right stories, it takes a lot of time and money.
Partner with us, be a patron or a subscriber. We need your support, throughout.