Kochi, 23 October 2019: The trail court in Kerala has summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese to take part in the trial procedure.
Charges against the Bishop will be read out to him in court. Meanwhile, the nun who accused Bishop Franco of rape has raised a complaint against him with the state women's commission saying he is now causing her mental harassment.
Bishop Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India, was arrested last year following allegations by a nun that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her at the Kuravilangad convent between 2014 and 2016, a charge denied by him. The Bishop was later released on bail.
In June 2018, the 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, had complained to the police that Mulakkal had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab. But Mulakkal denied all charges saying he was framed after he took action against her for financial irregularities in the convent.
Later the special investigation team arrested him after several rounds of questioning. He was later granted bail. The charge-sheet was filed in the court two months back and trial will begin on Novemeber 11.
The victim and her five fellow nuns who stood up against the bishop are staying at a convent in Kottayam under tight security following the mysterious death of key witness Father Kattuthara, near Jalandhar. Based on the police direction, the convent authorities had installed CCTV cameras, given proper lighting to the roads. Police have also collected details of all inmates and workers of the convent.