Kochi: The Kerala High Court Monday granted conditional bail to Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun.
Granting the bail, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan directed the accused Bishop to surrender his passport and not to enter Kerala state except for appearing before the probe officer once in two weeks on Saturdays. This condition would be applicable till a charge sheet is filed in the case.
Earlier on October 3, the High Court had dismissed the bail plea of the bishop while accepting the prosecution argument that the accused, holding a high position in society will try to influence witnesses in the case, if given bail. The 54-year-old Bishop, currently lodged in a sub-jail in Pala in Kottayam district, moved the high court again after a magistrate court extended his judicial remand. Police opposed the bail application of the clergyman, saying investigation was still on in the case.
In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the nun had alleged that Bishop Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions. The nun said she had to approach the police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman.
However, Mulakkal has denied the charges as “baseless and concocted,” insisting she levelled those as the Catholic order had rejected her demand for favours. He had last month stepped aside as the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese.