Kerala nun rape case: Court extends judicial custody of Bishop Franco Mulakkal till October 20

Kottayam (Ker): A Kerala court Saturday extended the judicial custody of Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun, by 14 days. The magistrate’s court in Pala in Kottayam district remanded the bishop to judicial custody till October 20.

The 54-year-old clergyman was produced before the court after the period of his judicial custody ended Saturday. Sources said the lawyers of the bishop were planning to approach the Kerala High Court once again, seeking bail. The high court had dismissed Mulakkal’s bail plea on Wednesday, while accepting the prosecution’s argument that the accused, holding a high position in the society, would try to influence the witnesses in the case if he was granted bail.

The police had said the investigation in the case was progressing even after the arrest of the accused. The bishop is currently lodged in a sub-jail in Pala.

In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the nun had alleged that Bishop Mulakkal had raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May, 2014 and subsequently, sexually exploited her on several occasions. The nun had said she had to approach the police as the church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman. However, the bishop has denied the charges.

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