Kottayam. A Kerala court has acquitted former priest Bishop Franco Mullakal in the nun rape case. The special thing is that Mulakkal is the first Catholic bishop of India, who had to face trial on the complaint of a nun. After the decision of the Additional Sessions Court, the bishop came out of the court laughing. The nun had accused Mulakkal of rape in the year 2018. After the matter came to light, the group of nuns protested fiercely on the streets.
The nun, in her complaint to the police in June 2018, had alleged that Mulakkal sexually assaulted her between 2014 and 2016. He was then the Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The police of Kottayam district had registered a case of rape against Bishop in June 2018. Months after 5 nuns protested outside the High Court, the police started investigating the matter. The nun had also written a letter to Vatican in this regard and sought his intervention in the case.
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The Special Investigation Team probing the case arrested Bishop in September 2018 and charged him with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation. Earlier, Mulakkal was interrogated for three days. The hearing in the case began in November 2019, which was completed on January 10. The court had barred print and electronic media from broadcasting any material related to the trial without its permission.
SP S Harishankar, who supervised the investigation, expressed surprise over the court’s decision. “We will absolutely go for the appeal,” he said. He said, ‘It is wrong to say that there is not enough evidence. We are really disappointed. We will go for appeal. Heavy police force was deployed outside the Kottayam Additional Sessions Court during the hearing.
(with language input)